Deemed as the 'City of Angels', Bangkok really lives up to its name. The capital city of Thailand, it takes you to a perfect melee of light, sound and color during its various festivities. The city is packed with many festive delights that are celebrated round the year with equal aplomb and grandeur. These enchanting festivals are one of the reasons why globe-trotters visit Bangkok from far and wide. More often than not, on your trip to the place, you will get a chance to become a part of these various revelries. The festivals organized throughout the year uphold the rich Thai culture and exude the traditional wealth of the country.
Though there is no dearth of alluring things in Bangkok, yet the
rejoicing spirit of its fairs and festivals ensures that you will never
be bored or find yourself at a loss of vigor, while in the place. While
some of these gala events are organized to showcase the colorful history
of Thailand, with its riches of traditional ideas and religious dogmas,
others are celebrated for pure pleasure. Whatever may be the real reason
behind the celebrations, each festival holds up a unique spectacle of
its own. Read about some of the major and prominent fairs and festivals
that see celebration in this wonderful land of Bangkok.
Major Fairs & Festivals of Bangkok
Chinese New Year
As most people in Bangkok are of Chinese origin, this festival is
entrenched in the culture and forms an important event of the city.
Celebrated in January, it is marked by paying homage to the departed
souls of forefathers. Elders give money to small children as tokens of
love. Families gather together and celebrate by holding a feast. Various
colorful parades and contests are held around the place, the most
important one being the Chinese Food Festival in Chinatown.
festival marks the traditional Thai New Year and is especially popular
for its bedlam of exciting water fights. In Bangkok, the excitement of
Songkran is most prominent near the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang. The
water spatter associated with the festival lasts for about three days,
over the lunar full moon. Boat races are held and colorful dancers and
music troupes parade the city grounds. Thai people enjoy family
gatherings and visit temples during this time.
It is an ancient Brahmanic ceremony that is being celebrated in Bangkok
since the Sukothai period. The event is hosted near Sanam Luang in May,
by the King who bestows farmers with his blessings for a productive
harvest. He also initiates the season by ploughing the ground. After
this ceremonial ploughing, the sacred bulls are offered seven different
platters, containing rice, corn, beans, sesame seeds, alcohol, water and
glass. The bulls' choice of food is used to predict the agricultural
produce for that particular year.
This festival commemorates the Goddess of Water and has been observed
all over Thailand, since the Sukothai period. People congregate at the
waterside during the full moon in November and offer their 'krathong' (a
lotus-shaped vessel decorated with flowers and candles) and 'loy'
(float) it in the water. In this way, they thank the Water Goddess for
giving them water for everyday use. Various fun fairs, concerts, games
and events are organized during this period.
The Golden Mount
The Golden Mount is a part of the Wat Saket Temple, which forms the
venue for the annual Golden Mount temple fair, celebrated in November
every year. The Golden Mount of Wat Saket is covered with red cloth and
the Buddhists in Bangkok visit the temple to offer their obeisance to
Lord Buddha's relics and rejoice in the festive spirit. The whole aura
of the place resembles a carnival, with folk plays, local food stalls,
bauble stalls and animal circuses.
Thai Beer Festival is celebrated in the cooler months of October or
November, after the monsoon spells are over. The event is ideal for
enjoying authentic Thai food and beer, as during this time, Thai
breweries set up stalls at various locations to promote their brands.
Various stage events and live performances are also held. The most
popular venue of the festival is the one located in front of the World
Trade Center, at the Rajprasong Intersection.
Bangkok International Film Festival
This festival is organized annually in February, by the Royal Thai
Government and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, to promote alternative
award-winning international and local films. The event is characterized
by various workshops, symposiums, special tributes, the Bangkok Film
Market (BFM) and other notable events. The festival mainly aims at
drawing attention to the emerging filmmakers throughout Asia, in
particular to those of the Southeast Asian region.