Head to Chiang Mai for Inthakin, also known as Sai Khan Dok (or “worship of the city pillar”). This is a very large celebration in which the city’s citizenry make flower offerings to the pillar, but there’s also dancing, musical performances, carnival games, and plenty of street food for sale. The festival begins with a procession around the old town. A Buddha image called Phra Fon Saen Haa (Five Hundred Thousand Raindrop Buddha) is carried, blessed with water, and placed in the courtyard of Wat Chedi Luang. After this the devotees place flowers, candles, and incense in each of the 28 bowls laid out on mats.
The Prachin Buri Agricultural Products Fair is a traditional Thai agricultural showcase where local farmers have the opportunity to show off their best produce—including fruits, vegetables, plants, and all manner of agricultural items. The 10 days of festivities encompasses all sorts of activities, from contests for “best in category”, to the obligatory beauty contest, and an agricultural vehicle parade. Alongside the army of people selling locally grown and handmade products, there will also be farming demonstrations, and performances by local traditional dancers and musicians.
The 8th annual Samed in Love Music Festival will once again be held on the powdery stretch of white known as Sai Kaew Beach, on the beautiful getaway island known as Koh Samed. This year the theme is ‘Luv Us Luv Earth’, and organizers are calling all music lovers to come and chill out and have fun watching performances by popular Thai musical acts including Scrubb, Tattoo Colour, Somkiat, Paradox, Slot Machine, Joey Boy, and quite a few more. Earlybird tickets are B1,200 and are available for purchase at: www.thaiticketmajor.com.
The Laguna Phuket International Marathon, hosted and presented by the Laguna Beach Resort, is a race in which anyone can participate. It includes a full marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km), fun run (10.5 km), community walk (5 km), and kids’ run (2 km). The topography of Phuket provides participants with the challenge of running flat plains and rolling hills and, at the same time, runners can enjoy the beautiful scenery as the courses take in villages, rubber plantations, and beaches. There’s also a ‘Pasta Party’ the evening before the event where runners can stock up on much needed carbs.
The annual Phi Ta Khon Festival is unique to the Dan Sai district in Loei Province, and is part of a grand merit-making festival known as the Boon Luang festival. It’s a high-spirited event, and a photographers dream, with eye-popping costumes and spectacle at every turn. The origins of the festival stem from the incident when Prince Vessandara—the Buddha’s penultimate incarnation—returned after being presumed dead, and the joyously noisy occasion was enough to wake the dead. In a re-enactment, men of the community dress up as “spirits” wearing intricately painted masks, costumes made from colourful strips of cloth sewn together, and can be sometimes seen carrying large phallic scepters.