Loi Krathong Festival in Krabi

Krabi Festivals

The diverse Krabi culture is an intoxicating fusion of Buddhist, Islamic, Chinese and even Sea Gypsy traditions and beliefs.

It is also a curious blend of old and new, that is expressed in many entertaining art forms including Like Pa (adapted plays), Shadow Plays, Manora (cultural performances, popular in southern Thailand) and Romng Ngeng (traditional folk dancing), that climax in a number of joyful celebrations throughout the year. Many are unique to Krabi, whilst some are enjoyed throughout the country and share a common theme. To enable you to plan a holiday to Krabi that coincides with one of these delightful festivals, we’ve highlighted our favourites below.

Festivals Particular to Krabi

Krabi Boek Fa Andaman Festival

There’s fun for all the family at this annual festival celebrating the beginning of the tourist season in Krabi. The first visitors of the year are welcomed in traditional style, with a wonderful selection of rich cultural displays, stirring musical performances and a number of thrilling sporting events that include boat races and kayak competitions. All this can be enjoyed between delicious mouthfuls of local cuisine, purchased from the bustling stalls that also stock a bright array of typical Krabi Products. An event not to be missed!

Laanta Lanta Festival

Every March, the tranquil island paradise of Ko Lanta comes alive with the sights and sounds of the Laanta Lanta Festival held in charming Lanta Old Town. Another opportunity to observe traditional Krabi culture in the form of dazzling ceremonial displays, energetic folk dancing, sporting competitions and a veritable feast of southern Thai food.

Loi Ruea Chao Le Festival

Also held on the magical island and popular holiday destination, Ko Lanta, this is one of Krabi’s best loved festivals. It is usually celebrated in both May and October (on the full moon of the sixth and eleventh lunar month) when the ethnic Mokken, known as Sea Gypsies, convene on Ban Saladan Beach. The merrymaking culminates in an ancestral dance called the ‘rong ngeng’, before boats are cast adrift in a bid to attract future prosperity and happiness.

Festivals Celebrated Throughout Thailand

Chak Phra Festival

In October, this incredibly moving and highly religious occasion is observed along rivers up and down the country. The highlight is an animated procession, in which participants pull a lavishly decorated boat bearing an image of the Buddha along the water.

Loi Krathong Festival

This emotionally charged event occurs on the 12th of November, to coincide with the full moon. On this date, the Thai population come out en masse to float ‘Krathong’ which are small boats, traditionally fashioned from banana leaves, and each carrying a little lantern, along rivers and canals. This enchanting scene is also described as the ‘festival of lights’ and is one of Thailand’s most ancient rituals.

Songkran

Between the 13th and 15th of April, Thailand throws a collective party to outshine all others. This wild get-together, thought to have derived from an Indian custom, is in honour of the Lunar New Year. It is characterised by lively parades, in which good humoured locals drown each other in a sea of coloured, scented water thrown from buckets or hose pipes. This seemingly frivolous act, actually symbolises both the end of the dry season and the cleansing of bad spirits and is a potent gesture of goodwill.

This period also has a strong religious significance during which Buddhist monks are shown extra respect and reverence.

Sree Buddha’s Birthday

A moving commemoration on the 15th of May to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha, in temples all over Thailand. Devout Buddhists show their devotion around this time, by caring for the sick, handicapped and the elderly.

Thai King’s Birthday

The Thai population are extremely proud of their royal family and every year on the 5th of December they pay their respects to the king, on what is his formal birthday. The day is marked with a nationwide holiday so that everyone can join in the fun. Buildings are adorned with colourful flags and the streets showered with beautiful, yellow marigolds. The festivities continue throughout the day and firework displays light up the Thai sky well into the night.

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