Watch Thai culture come alive in these festivals.
Songkran is Thailand's New Year Festival, occurring from 13 to 15 April every year. It is one of the country's main festivals and represents a period of reflection and expression of appreciation for families. It also includes a great deal of water-related activities lasting two days and more.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar which lasts for 9 days. During this time, local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. It is believed that the vegetarian festival and its accompanying sacred rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe this rite. There will be a ritual procession featuring sacred rituals such as walking barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs, performed by entranced devotees known as "Ma Song".
Loy Krathong is Thailand's festival of lights held every year on the evening of the 12th lunar month, typically in November. It is a Thai belief that all misfortunes in the past will float away (loy), hence personal items like nail clippings and strands of hair are placed in the krathong (leaf bowl). The Thais also believe that the action of setting floating lights free across water bodies is a respectful sign of homage to the water goddess, Mae Khongkha.