Events in Phuket
Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country and has many celebrations during the year. Residents of Phuket welcome visitors to watch or take part in their festivals and traditions. Many special occasions start on the night of the full or new moon and therefore will begin on a different date every year.
Songkran is the one festival which is sure to bring out the kid in people of all ages. It is the celebration of the traditional Thai New Year and was originally a cleansing ritual. In recent years it has become a huge water fight. Thai people and tourists pack the streets and everybody uses water pistols, buckets and hoses to soak everybody else. Watch out for barrels of ice water!
Vegetarian Festival (September/October)
The exact origin of the Vegetarian Festival is not known, but it is thought to originate from China and is a time to prove bravery to the spirits. Phuket is a major destination for this festival and people travel from around the country and abroad to be part of it. Be warned, this festival may not suitable for children or squeamish adults! Events take place at Chinese temples and shrines, and there are also parades around the island. Participants will harm themselves and skewer objects through their cheeks, all to show their strength. No meat is eaten during the festival.
Loi Krathong (November)
Loi is the Thai word for float and Krathong is the decoration that can be made or bought for the occasion. A Krathong is usually made from foam and covered in leaves and flowers. Locks of hair or fingernail clippings are sometimes placed into the Krathong before it is released onto the water, to signify letting go of the past and moving on. During this festival, Thai people slow down and thinks about the things in life which should be appreciated.
Celebrations can be found at the major beaches, like Patong, and many of the lakes on the island, such as BangWad reservoir in Kathu. There are various food stalls and often live music or funfairs at the celebration. Hundreds of sky lanterns are released lighting up the sky in a beautiful display.
Travel to Phuket and experience this unique island and culture for yourself.