There are countless festivals and special events held in Thailand throughout the year. Some of these are celebrated nationwide (e.g. Songkran and Loy Krathong) whilst other festivals are specific to particular cities or provinces. With a number of Thai festivals and Buddhist holidays, the exact date varies each year because it depends on the lunar calendar and the night of the full moon. Listed below are some of the best-known annual Thai festivals and special events. The dates listed here are not public holidays in Thailand unless stated. Please note that dates of local festivals may be liable to change while others are still waiting for dates to be confirmed.
Dates of public holidays in Thailand, 2021
Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates:
Please note that some events may be postponed or rescheduled.
- New Year’s Day (public holiday): January 1
- Children’s Day: second Saturday in January (January 9, 2021)
- Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankhampaeng Handicrafts Festival, Chiang Mai: usually held on third weekend in January (January 15-17, 2021)
- Chiang Mai Flower Festival: usually held on the first full weekend in February (February 5-7, 2021)
- Chinese Lunar New Year: date falls in January/February. Celebrated in many areas of Thailand, but particularly in the Chinatown districts of Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Phuket and Trang (February 12, 2021 – Year of the Ox)
- Valentine’s Day: February 14
- Trang Underwater Wedding: Valentine’s Day. Events in Trang Town and Ko Kradan (February 13-15)
- Makha Bucha Day (public holiday): date falls in February/March (February 26, 2021)
- Burapa Bike Week, Pattaya: mid-February. Regarded as the biggest gathering of motorbike enthusiasts in South-east Asia.
- Phuket International Blues Rock Festival: mid/late February
- National Elephant Day: March 13
- National Muay Thai Day: March 17. Ayutthaya hosts the Martial Arts Festival and Wai Khru Ceremony and smaller events and ceremonies are held at various Thai boxing gyms and venues in Thailand
- Poy Sang Long Festival: various locations around north Thailand, particularly in Mae Hong Son (late March/early April)
- Chakri Day (public holiday): April 6
- Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival (public holiday): April 13-15
- Wan Lai Festival: mid-April at locations in Chonburi province including Pattaya
- Phuket Bike Week: mid-April
- Labour Day (public holiday): May 1
- Coronation Day (public holiday): May 4
- Visakha Bucha Day (public holiday): date falls in May/June (May 26, 2021)
- Rocket Festivals, Isaan: mid/late May. Various local events in areas of north-east Thailand with the most famous being the the ‘Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival’ at Yasothon
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Bangkok: date usually falls in May
- Hua Hin Jazz Festival: usually held in May/June
- Chiang Mai Inthakin City Pillar Festival: date usually falls in May
- Ko Samui Yacht Regatta: held in May/June
- Birthday of HM Queen Suthida (public holiday): June 3
- Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival, Dan Sai, Loei: usually held in June/July
- Asahna Bucha Day (public holiday): date usually falls in July/early-August (July 24, 2021)
- Khao Phansa: falls on the day after Asahna Bucha (July 25, 2021)
- Birthday of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) (public holiday): July 28
- Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival: held during July and associated with Asahna Bucha and Buddhist Lent
- Phuket Yachting Race Week: mid/late July
- Queen Dowager Sirikit’s Birthday (public holiday): August 12. Also celebrated as Mother’s Day.
- Por Tor Hungry Ghost Festival, Phuket: held August/September
- Mahidol Day: September 24. In remembrance of Prince Mahidol who is honoured as the father of modern Thai medicine and who was the grandfather of HM King Rama X.
- Thai National Flag Day: September 28
- Awk Phansa: Marks the end of ‘Buddhist Lent’. Usually falls in October (October 21, 2021)
- HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej Memorial Day (public holiday): October 13. Commemorating the passing of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
- Buffalo Racing Festival, Chonburi: held in October/November
- Chulalongkorn Day (public holiday): October 23
- Naga Fireballs, Nong Khai
- Vegetarian Festival: usually takes place in September/October. Celebrated at various locations in Thailand including Phuket, Trang, Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
- Loy Krathong: November 19, 2021.
- Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai: held to coincide with Loy Krathong. Dates for 2021 to be confirmed. Probable dates November 18-20.
- Elephant Round-up Festival, Surin: usually held on third weekend in November
- Monkey Banquet Festival, Lopburi: usually held on last Sunday in November
Mass Lantern Release, Mae Jo, Chiang Mai
In previous years there has been a separate sky lantern release hosted by a Buddhist sect at a temple in Mae Jo. The Mae Jo event is not the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. Since 2015 the Mae Jo sky lantern release has been a commercial event aimed at tourists with ticket prices starting from US$100. Full details on the Mae Jo Sky Lantern Release here »The real Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai is, and always has been, free to attend.
- King Bhumibol Birthday Commemoration Day (public holiday): December 5. The day on which HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born is also celebrated as Father’s Day and National Day.
- Constitution Day (public holiday): December 10
- Concert in the Park, Bangkok: Outdoor concert season begins in Bangkok. Hosted at Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park (previously at Lumphini Park). Free entertainment courtesy of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Concerts on most Sundays from mid-December through to the end of February.
- New Year’s Eve: (public holiday if it falls on a weekday) December 31. New Year Countdown events held at various locations in Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.