Bangkok Events and Festivals

(Bangkok, Thailand)




Picture of temple statuesAround the city of Bangkok you will find an array of celebrations, festivals and events, a number of which are celebrated all over Thailand, such as the colourful dragon parades during the annual Chinese New Year Festival. Further events are specific to Bangkok and include Film Festival in February, the International Bangkok Motor Show in March, and the International Fashion Fair (BIFF) each August. Many events and concerts are held at Bangkok's popular Thailand Cultural Centre along Ratchadapisek Road, and within other notable entertainment venues around the city centre.

Those staying in Bangkok during the summer months will be lucky enough to find plenty of things to do, such as the two International Festivals of Dance and Music, as well as the Chinatown Food Festival, the Moon Festivals and also the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair. Also worth visiting is the Thai Beer Festival in October, where you get the opportunity to sample the best of the local brewed beer. The main annual events are shown below.


Bangkok National Public Holidays


  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • 6th April - Chakri Day
  • 1st May - International Labour Day
  • 5th May - Coronation Day
  • Mid-May - Visakha Puja (wisaakhà buuchaa)
  • Late July - Khao Phansa (khâo phansaa)
  • 12th August - Queen's Birthday
  • 23rd October - Chulalongkorn Day
  • 5th December - King's Birthday
  • 10th December - Constitution Day

Bangkok Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • New Year Festival - early January, celebrations around the city, with a strong western influence, including fireworks and plenty of parties
  • Don Chedi Memorial Fair - late January, a variety of local entertainment and exhibitions take place in Suphanburi, within reach of Bangkok and located directly north
  • Chinese New Year Festival - January / February, oriental festivities abound in Bangkok and include dragon parades, many elaborate costumed dancers and tasty Chinese cuisine

February


  • Bangkok Film Festival - mid-February, the country's largest event of its kind, with many international filmmakers descending on the city to screen their films at the EGV Cinemas Siam Discovery Centre, amongst other locations
  • Makabucha Day - mid-February, with a number of religious activities on this national holiday, celebrating Lord Buddha with candlelit processions and incense sticks
  • Nakhon Pathom Food and Fruit Fair - late February, with plenty of local Thai produce and cuisine available from the stalls gathered around the enormous Phra Pathom Chedi statue, in Nakhon Pathom, near to Bangkok itself
  • Phra Nakhon Khiri Fair - late February, lasting nine days and held in the particularly appealing town of Phra Nakhon Khiri, close to the city
  • King Rama II Memorial Fair - throughout February, honouring the highly acclaimed Thai Pot Rama II, boasting competitions and exhibitions at the King Buddhalerta Naphalai Memorial Park in Samut Songkram, south of Bangkok

March


  • Magha Puja Day - late March, a Buddhist holiday with candlelit processions based around a number of the city's chapels and temples
  • Thailand International Kite Flying Festival - throughout March, a major event suiting all ages and including many open-air activities and trade stands, held in Suan Son Pradipat, located directly south of Bangkok and within driving distance
  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Sweet Grape Fair - late March / early April, in nearby Damnoen Saduak, on the western outskirts of Bangkok, expect to see market traders floating around on small boats, crammed with produce and goods
  • Thao Suranaree Fair - late March / early April, with various events, including processions, live music, exhibitions and contests, culminating in an enormous fireworks display
  • International Bangkok Motor Show - March / April, the latest cars and other vehicles gather at the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Centre along Bang-na Trad Road, attracting large crowds of car enthusiasts. Look out for the latest concept cars and designs for the future

April


  • Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival - mid-April, the official Buddhist New Year in Thailand includes an enormous water fight in the city centre and in particularly around Khao San Road, so be prepared for a soaking




May


  • Royal Ploughing Ceremony - mid-May, the start of the official rice-planting season, with old-fashioned ploughs led by buffaloes at Sanam Luang Park
  • Visakha Puja Day - May / June, a particularly notable Buddhist holiday, celebrating the life of Lord Buddha, with many religious ceremonies at temples all over Bangkok

June


  • Hua Hin Jazz Festival - mid-June, both jazz and traditional Thai concerts held in nearby Prachuap Khiri Khan at various venues and open-air locations
  • International Festival of Dance and Music (Part 1) - mid-June, expect to enjoy performances by many international musicians at many central entertainment venues
  • Sunthon Phu Day - late June, the literary works of acclaimed poet Sunthon Phu are celebrated in nearby Ban Kram Village, close to Bangkok
  • Amazing Thailand Grand Sale Fair - late June, many of the city's main shops and department stores offer sizable discounts for local souvenirs, silk and general handicrafts

July


  • Pattaya Marathon - mid-July, different road races attract many international runners, taking place around the nearby Pattaya area, on the outskirts of Bangkok. The course offers many coastal views and passes many sights along the way
  • Buddhist Lent Day - mid-July, Buddhist monks receive offerings of food and brightly decorated candles
  • Asalaha Puja Day / Asalahabucha Day - late July, a particularly notable Buddhist holiday, with various well-attended religious ceremonies at the city's main temples

August


  • Bangkok International Fashion Fair (BIFF) - mid-August, dating back to the mid-1980s, this free annual event attracts leading fashion designers from the Asia-Pacific region. Expect fashion shows, trade stands and many clothing accessories, held at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre
  • The Queen's Birthday Celebrations - August 12th, royal festivities take place around the magnificent Grand Palace and also along Ratchadamnern Avenue, with highly decorated streets, processions and dancing

September


  • Food Festival in Chinatown - mid-September, local Thai cuisine abounds, with many tasty and sumptuous dishes on offer, along with live music and shows. Bangkok's Food Festivals in based in the Chinatown district and in particular, around Yaowarat Road
  • International Festival of Dance and Music (Part 2) - September / October, attracting international performers from around the world, with music including rock, pop, jazz, classical and opera
  • Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) - September / October, taking place all over the city, this event has Chinese origins and includes night-time moonlit ceremonies, with candles, cakes and incense

October


  • Kin Jay Vegetarian Festival - early October, held during the ninth Chinese lunar month, which falls at the beginning of the month. Many locals choose to eat only vegetarian dishes for nine days. This event also includes street parades and similar celebrations
  • Thai Beer Festival - October / November, a chance to sample some of Bangkok's finest locally brewed beer, with various breweries gathering at central venues, close to the World Trade Centre and also on Siam Square

November


  • Golden Mount Fair - mid-November, many Buddhists head to the Golden Mount for worship and religious ceremonies. This event also features a range of entertainment and fairground rides
  • Loi Krathong Festival (Krathong Floating) - late November, one of Bangkok's most famous festivals. Boats and baskets are constructed of banana leaves and filled with candles, coins, incense and flowers, and then floated along various stretches of water, including the Chao Phraya River

December


  • Trooping of the Colours (Military Parade) - early December, a formal ceremony dating back to the end of the 19th century, where the Royal Guards march past both the King and Queen, watched by enormous crowds
  • Grand Celebration of His Majesty the King - December 5th, a national event held all across Thailand, where the streets are filled with colourful flags and decorations
  • Bangkok Jazz Festival - throughout December, a relatively new festival which has grown greatly in popularity, now being attended by over 30,000 people and many notable jazz musicians
  • Christmas Festivities - throughout December, although Christmas is not actually celebrated by Thais, a number of seasonal markets with a Christmas theme are held around central Bangkok, where you can find plenty of gift ideas and decorations







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