The Bizarre Festivals of Thailand — From Water Fights To Monkey Buffets

It’s no secret that Thailand is a gorgeous country with rich culture and warm hospitality. But did you know it’s also home to many festivals? They are not only an amazing example of the richness of its history and traditions, but they are also an enjoyable thing to experience. Even though some may consider them to be a bit bizarre, we think that Thailand has some of the most exciting festivities on earth. From water fights to monkey buffets, let’s explore the colorful world of the Thai calendar and discuss the most bizarre festivals of Thailand.

Songkran Festival

Let’s start with one of the biggest holidays in ThailandSongkran, also known as the Thai New Year. This festival is a time of joy, renewal, and purification. Celebrated annually in April, Songkran is marked by spirited water fights that symbolize the washing away of bad luck and sins. Apart from the water festivities, Songkran also involves visiting temples, making merit, and paying respects to elders. One of the most common traditions that are performed during this festival is the throwing of scented water over Buddha images and statues. But remember, Songkran is not just a time of joy and celebration. It is also a period of reflection and spiritual rejuvenation. It signifies the beginning of a new year and the opportunity for a fresh start.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

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The Yi Peng Lantern Festival, held in Chiang Mai, is a mesmerizing spectacle that captivates anyone who has the chance to visit it with its beauty and symbolism. Taking place in November, Yi Peng is a time for reflection and making wishes for the future. The most common tradition is the release of thousands of illuminated paper lanterns into the night sky. This is not only a breathtaking sight, but it also symbolizes letting go of misfortunes and sending hopes and dreams aloft. Participants also float krathongs on waterways, symbolizing the release of negativity and embracing positivity in the coming year.

Phi Ta Khon Festival

The Phi Ta Khon Festival in Dan Sai is a vibrant celebration that blends ancient traditions with modern revelry. Also known as the Ghost Festival, it honors the spirits and brings good fortune to the community. Locals dress in elaborate ghost costumes and masks, parading through the streets. Even though it may seem similar to Halloween, this festival fosters a sense of community and cultural pride, showcasing the creativity and spirit of the local culture.

Monkey Buffet Festival

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Our favorite out of the list is probably the Monkey Buffet Festival in Lopburi. This is a unique event that celebrates the harmonious relationship between humans and wildlife, particularly the resident macaque monkeys. Elaborate buffet tables filled with fruits, vegetables, and treats are set up for the monkeys to feast on. Honestly, seeing them overfilled with joy while snacking on a watermelon slice or a banana just has to melt your heart. The festival is thought to bring good luck to the people of the area, while also celebrating the hairy residents. The festival also includes cultural performances, music, and activities for attendees to enjoy, creating a fun and memorable experience for all, one of the best festivals of Thailand.

Kanita is a wanderlust-fueled traveler with an inclination for unraveling the mysteries of history, the paranormal, and the bizarre world of medicine. As a true crime buff, Kanita's nights are often spent delving into the depths of chilling mysteries. Yet, it's not just the paranormal that captivates her—her background in medicine fuels a fascination with the weird and wonderful world of medical oddities, from twisted historical practices to the myths and legends that shroud the field. From exploring haunted locales to uncovering the strange and morbid tales of medical history, Kanita is your guide to the unconventional, the unexplained, and the downright eerie.

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