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5 Curious Traditions Unique to Thailand’s Culture

Friday - July 27, 2018

Formed by 1430 islands of pure paradise with some of the most various, delicious, and spicy food in the world, the kingdom of Thailand welcomed a whopping 35 million tourists in 2017. Thais love a festival and you will find several happening over the year in different locations; but which ones are worth seeing? Below is a list of the top 5 Festivals.

Time to get wet…Songkran!

Songkran is a festival that happens every year during the month of April and coincides with the Thai New Year. The official Songkran lasts 3 days, but celebrations go on for a week everywhere. Everyone participates and the whole Kingdom is full of music, dancing, and drinking. You can use whatever you come up with to splash people, buckets, hose pipes, water guns, no one is safe on the streets, you will get soaked!

The origins of these celebrations are rooted in the Buddhist religion, so don’t forget to go to a Buddhist temple and get blessed by a monk, who will splash you with a sprinkle of fresh water to purify your soul and will tie a bracelet on your wrist for protection.

Ghost Festival (Phi Ta Khon)

Happening in the Dan Sai, Loei province this 3 day festival usually happens in June or July. It combines local handicraft, religious traditions, and a vibrant party atmosphere. This festival happens on the 6th full moon of the lunar calendar. The locals wear ghastly colourful masks with an unusual looking nose. It is a mix of Buddhist and Animist beliefs. The celebration is meant to recreate a party that took place a long time ago, this party was so marvellous that living and dead wanted to participate. What are you waiting for? Pack up and get there!

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Let´s feed the Monkeys!

Located 150km north of Bangkok, Lopburi is an ancient city that was developed during the Dvaravati period that lasted between the 6th to the 13th centuries. Honourable members of this city are the monkeys. The festival is dedicated to the Monkey God Hanuman, who saved a god’s daughter (Sitra) from a demon (Ravana), the monkeys descendants of Anuman are welcome in the city ever since.

Anuman is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity, and in November a feast is offered to approximately 3000 monkeys that are allowed to eat 4 tonnes of veggies, fruit and other treats. Just be careful, monkeys do jump on you to get the treats themselves and not only, hold on to your belongings!

Let it rain! The Rocket Festival

Happening during the month of June or July mainly in the Yasothorn Province, this festival is a call for rain and a celebration of fertility. It’s celebrated before the planting season begins. Locals try to encourage the gods, sending rockets to the sky to get water and men try to upset the gods, disguising themselves as women performing burlesque acts with phalli, as a revenge the gods will send a thunderstorm!

Send your wishes to the Universe…Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival

Not convinced yet to book that flight? There is a festival where your wishes come true!

The origin of this festival is a tribute to the water goddess, in time the festival has evolved and now is celebrated in November in Chiang Mai. During this festival you will see public places and homes decorated with flags and lanterns. Lanterns are released into the sky with the intention of releasing all ills and misfortunes of the previous year, it is the perfect opportunity for letting go of all the feelings and situations that bring discomfort to your life, picture them in the lantern and release them into the universe…You can also make a wish!

These are just some of the wonderful festivals happening each year across Thailand! What are your favourites? Did we miss any? Please make sure to let us know in the comments below.