Thailand people love celebrating and getting involved with festivals, be the festival in question the religious or contemporary kind. Some of these festivities have been a long part of the local culture for centuries. There are other festivals that celebrate the unique Lanna Culture or the culture of the Northern Thailand people. Here are three of the most popular events of the year when it comes to representing the rich culture and festivals in Chiang Mai.
- Loi Kratong – Considered one of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand, the Loi Kratong is held yearly on a full moon during the 12th of November. Because the people of Thailand have always had a close relationship with water since ancient times, the county’s most important festival directs a nod to this long relation. The rivers are filled with beautifully decorated floats of different shapes and sizes known as Kratong. Candles are lit and made to drift on the surface of the waters, which contributes even more to the beautiful scenery and celebratory atmosphere. Although the manner and conduct of the rituals is different all throughout Thailand, the underlying purpose of paying gratitude to the waters is the same. In Chiang Mai alone, colorful hot air balloons called Khom Loy are lit and released into the sky during the day and night. Lanterns and lamps are lit all throughout the grounds and the city glows with a myriad of lights. This festival is known to be the Yi Peng Festival of Chiang Mai.
- Song Kran – The Song Kran Festival started with a soft sprinkling of water in the villages to mark the start of the rainy season. Today, the festival is celebrated with a soaking of all the towns and villages every mid-April of the year. These days are filled with full-fledged water fights that include almost every populate part of Thailand. Plastic water cannons and water guns are all on hand with the daylight party that’s lasts a whole week. Chiang Mai is one of the best places to join in the fun during the 13th to 15th of April.
- Chiang Mai Flower Festival – Held every 5th to 7th of February, the streets of Chiang May explode with color as the Flower Festival of the city commences. Flowers such as asters, marigolds and salvias come into full bloom to join the tropical orchids and bougainvilleas. Villages, private and government organizations all come together to create the most intricately designed and most spectacular floral floats. Atop every float sits a beautiful girl dressed in a northern Thai costume. The procession of the floats leads the way through the streets of Chiang Mai into the Suan Buak Had Park where the winners of the best-decorated float will be announced. Other competitions such as flower arrangements and miniature gardens also take place with hundreds of stalls selling almost every kind of flower you can imagine.
Other notable festivals of the city include: Bor Sang umbrella Festival, Veshaka Bukka Day and the Makkha Puja Day. With a fascinating history coupled with the distinct culture and festivals in Chiang Mai, these lovely festivities are but another great reason for you to visit this amazing city.