Thai Holidays & Events

January
New Year's Day - January 1 - Observed by many Thais as a day off work

Don Chedi Monument in Suphanburi province. Commemorates the victory of HM Naresuan over Burmese invaders in 1592. A fair is with demonstrations of elephant back duels.
February
Chiang Mai Flower Festival When a variety of colorful flowers are in full bloom. Celebrations include a parade of decorated floats, displays of flowers and, of course, a beauty contest.

Makha Bucha Day On the full moon of third lunar month. Commemorates the Buddha preaching to 1250 enlightened monks who came without prior summons. Culminates in a candle lit procession circling the main chapel of every temple.

Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park Focuses on the areas historical and architectural importance. Features a sound and light show plus Thai classical dance and drama.
March
Phanom Rung Historical Park Festival This Angkor style temple complex in Buriram province sponsors a light and sound show at night. Last week of the month.
April
Chakri Day - April 6 - Founding of the Chakri Dynasty, Rama I.

Songkran Festival - April 12-15 - Thai traditional New Year. Thais pay homage to Buddha images. Younger sprinkle water on their elder hands in a show of respect.
May
Royal Ploughing Ceremony An ancient Brahmin festival marks the beginning of the rice planting season. The ceremony is said to forecast the abundance of the next rice crop.

Coronation Day - May 5 - The King and Queen preside at a ceremony at the temple of the Emerald Buddha which commemorates their coronation in 1950.

Bun Bang Fai Festival or Rocket Festival A rain making festival in the province of Yasothon. Villagers build large skyrockets of bamboo and fire them into the sky as a way of bringing for their rice fields.
June
Phi Ta Khon Festival A rain making festival held in Loei where people dress in ghost masks and costumes.
July
Khao Phansa or Candle Festival Beginning of the Buddhist rain retreat. Huge candles are carved and paraded in the streets.

Asalaha Puja Day Commemorates the first sermon preached by the Buddha. For a period of three months, monks must remain in their temples and strictly observe their religious duties.
August
Birth Day of Her Majesty the Queen - August 12 - Lighted portraits of Her Majesty the Queen are decorated with colorful flowers. Also known as "Mother's Day" in Thailand.
September
Phichit Boat Races An annual rowing regatta which takes place on the Nan River.
October
Chulalongkorn Day - October 23 - Commemorates the death of King Rama V.

Ok Pansa Month ending the Buddhist rain retreat. Also the Kathin season when people make merit by presenting robes and other necessities to monks at various temple.
November
Loy Krathong Pays homage to river spirits when people in across Thailand float "kratongs" made of banana leaves and flowers in rivers and canals. Sukhothai and Chiang Mai are notable venues for the holiday.

Elephant Roundup in Surin Elephants in action with tugs of war logging skills demonstrations. Demonstrations of ancient warfare as well as parades.

River Kwai Bridge Week in Kanchanaburi Features a light and sound performance on the bridge. The areas archaeology and history is featured with activities that include rides on vintage trains.
December
Trooping of the Colors - December 3 - Pageant with contingents of all armed forces parading in full dress uniform at the Royal Plaza. Confirms their allegiance to the King and country.

Birth Day of His Majesty the King - December 5 - Decorated and lighted portraits of His Majesty are placed around the country, also known as "Father's day".

Ayutthaya World Heritage Site The ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991. The holiday celebrates its glorious past with historical exhibitions, cultural performances.

New Year's Eve - December 31 - Celebrated as a public holiday in all parts of Thailand.