Phuket Vegetarian Festival
is held from the first through the ninth
nights of the ninth Chinese lunar month; that is, in September or
October. It was first celebrated in 1825, when a troupe of actors
enacted these rites toward off a plague. Vegetarian food is eaten by
participants and white clothes worn during the period of the fest.
Self mutilation is practiced by those whose bodies
become the temporary residence of powerful gods. Parades of
worshippers brave fireworks while carrying images through the
street; others walk on fire or climb bladed ladders. Participants
number in the thousands. The whole forms one of the most bizarre
festivals in Thailand.
This is an ancestor's festival of the ethnic
Chinese that falls on the seventh Chinese lunar month, which is the
same as the ninth lunar month of the Thais. Special foods, flowers
and candles are presented to the ancestor's altars. Cakes in the
shape of turtles are made from flour. This is done because turtles
live to great age and it is believed that by making such offering
worshippers may extend the length of their lives. It is an important
held around May
yearly, is designed to publicize the delicious seafood of Phuket and
attract visitors during the rainy season.
Activities include a Marine Tourism Resources Parade, seafood
stalls, demonstrations of regional cuisines and cultural shows.
Thao Thep Krasatri-Thao Sri Suntorn
is held on 13 March yearly in memory of the two heroines who led
the defense of the island against the Burmese in 1785.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon
This annual year
end event sees the world's top triathletes and hundreds of amateurs
competing for prize money and placing on the world triathlon
circuit. The course, which includes swimming, bicycling, and running
through the beautiful natural surroundings of Laguna Phuket in
Tambon Choeng Thale, takes from two-and-a-half to five hours to
is held on
Songkran, the nationwide Thai water festival, on April 13. It is
also the National Fisherman's Day.
turtles are released into the sea at various locations.
Season Opening Festival
is usually called the Patong Carnival in
English according to from the place where celebrations occur, and is held on
November 1. There are many stalls with merchandise and food,
parades, sports event, and a beauty competition for foreign
tourists. The fest is held to cement solidarity among the
government, the private business sector, and the people.
Le Boat Floating Festival(
Sea Gypsy )
falls during the middle of the sixth and
eleventh lunar months yearly. The fest is held at the Chao Le, or
Sea Gipsy, villages
in Phuket. The Rawai and Sapam villages hold their ceremonies on the
13th; Sire village celebrates on the 14th; and the village at Laem
La (east of the bridge on Phuket's northern tip) celebrates on the
15th. Ceremonies, which center around the setting adrift of small
boats similar to the Thai Festival of Loy Krathong, are held at
night and their purpose is to drive away evil and to bring good
luck. Fingernail clipping and strands of hair are put in the little
boats before being released, along with little dolls fashioned from
wood. Afterwards, the villagers perform their
dance round their own boats, called the Ram Rong Ngeng.
King's Cup Regatta
was first held in 1987 in honor of His
Majesty's 60th birthday. The King of Thailand is a noted boating enthusiast
and yachts come from around the world to participate in the
competition, which is the largest and most popular in Southeast
Asia. It is held yearly on the anniversary of His Majesty's
birthday, 5 December. Site of the regatta is Nai Harn Bay.
held on November 1, was
first initiated in 1985 atPatong
to welcome in the tourist season and designed to foster co-operation
among tourism-related operators both in the private and public
sectors. Many colorful and interesting activities are organized,
such as merit-making in the morning, water sports contests, a Miss
Visitor Contest, among others.
word Songkran is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “passing” or
"moving" , measuring the movement of the sun through the twelve
astrological signs beginning with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer,
Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces;
each passing taking approximately 30 days through each sign. It
takes a year for the sun to pass through all the signs. This
calendar is in use in India and the Southeast Asian Nations that
have been influenced by India-Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos,
The 13th is Maha Songkran day, the first day of the new year
celebrations, when the sun moves from
into Aries, and when the lengths of the day and night are equal.
Songkran is an important merit making period lasting three days,
Songkran Day, last day of the old year (13th)
or Nao Day, New Year's Eve (14th)
Year or Thaloengsok Day (15th)
The legend of the Songkran Goddess
There is a specific godness associated with each day upon which
the Maha Songkran Day falls i.e. Thungsa, Khorak, Raksot, Montha,
Kirini, Kimitha, and Mahothon for Monday through to Sunday,
respectively. The goddesses are the daughters of the god Maha
Songkran, otherwise known as Kabinlaphrom, who lost his head in a
wager with Thammabankuman. They are tasked with carrying his head so
that it would not touch the ground lest the earth were to be
incinerated, or the air lest the rain not fall, or the oceans as
they would dry and up. So each year, the goddesses each take their
turn in carrying his head on a celestrial salver.
The tradition has long been celebrated in Thailand; the celebrations
providing families with an opportunity to get together, allowing
youngsters the chance to pay respect to their elders and for the
elders to bless the younger members of the family. It is a time of
community, friendship, and renewal of ties. The community also gets
a chance to pull together in making merit and engaging in other
activities such as building sand stupas, splashing of water, and
general spring cleaning of the home and temples, giving alms,
releasing of birds and fish, Nang Songkran procession, bathing
Buddha images, and seeking the benediction of family elders.
Krathong is a tradition believed to have been influenced by the
Indian Lantern or Diwali Festival, in which floats are made in
worship of the three Brahmin Gods Bhrama, Vishnu, and Shiva.
The belief was adapted to fit in with the Thai agrarian way of life,
dependent upon the flow of water, changing it into a festival where
one pay obeisance to Phra Mae Khongkha, the goddess of water. The
practice became widespread nationally and internationally in due
course, and has become synonymous with the Thai Culture.
While each region will heave its own variations, the krathongs
(floats) are normally shaped as a lotus from locally available
materials. The floats are decorated with incense and candles allowed
to float along with the flow of the river. Some would put in nail
clippings and strands of hair into the krathong as well, in the
belief that the sins of the past year would be washed away; some
place coins in the krathong as a way of making merit; some wish for
love. Once the krathongs are on their way there would normally be
fireworks and other festivities to be enjoyed like Krathong
Competition, and Nang Nopphamat Pageant, Loi Krathong, Games.