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 (tbc).
Dates of public holidays in Thailand, 2023
- New Year’s Day (public holiday): 1 January
- Children’s Day: second Saturday in January (14 January, 2023)
- Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankhampaeng Handicrafts Festival, Chiang Mai: usually held on third weekend in January (tbc 20-22 January, 2023)
- 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 (22 January, 2023 – Year of the Rabbit)
- Chiang Mai Flower Festival: usually held on the first full weekend in February (3-5 February, 2023)
- Valentine’s Day: 14 February
- Trang Underwater Wedding: Valentine’s Day. Events in Trang Town and Ko Kradan (13-15 February)
- 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
- Makha Bucha Day (public holiday): date falls in February/March (6 March, 2023)
- National Thai Elephant Day: 13 March
- National Muay Thai Day: 17 March. 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): 6 April
- Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival (public holiday): 13-15 April
- Wan Lai Festival: mid-April at locations in Chonburi province including Pattaya
- Phuket Bike Week: mid-April
- Labour Day (public holiday): 1 May
- Coronation Day (public holiday): 4 May
- 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
- Visakha Bucha Day (public holiday): date falls in May/June (3 June, 2023)
- Birthday of HM Queen Suthida (public holiday): 3 June
- Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival, Dan Sai, Loei: 23-25 June, 2023
- Birthday of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) (public holiday): 28 July
- Phuket Yachting Race Week: mid/late July
- Asahna Bucha Day (public holiday): date usually falls in July/early-August (1 August, 2023)
- Khao Phansa: falls on the day after Asahna Bucha (2 August, 2023)
- Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival: held during July and associated with Asahna Bucha and Buddhist Lent (31July-2 August, 2023)
- Queen Dowager Sirikit’s Birthday (public holiday): 12 August. Also celebrated as Mother’s Day.
- Por Tor Hungry Ghost Festival, Phuket: held August/September
- Mahidol Day: 24 September. 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: 28 September
- Awk Phansa: Marks the end of ‘Buddhist Lent’. Usually falls in October (date for 2023 tbc)
- HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej Memorial Day (public holiday): 13 October. Commemorating the passing of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
- Buffalo Racing Festival, Chonburi: held in October/November
- Chulalongkorn Day (public holiday): 23 October
- 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: 28 November, 2023 (date to be confirmed)
- Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai: held to coincide with Loy Krathong. Dates for 2023 to be confirmed. Probable dates 27-29 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): 5 December. The day on which HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born is also celebrated as Father’s Day and National Day.
- Constitution Day (public holiday): 10 December
- 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) 31 December. New Year Countdown events held at various locations in Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya.