Poi Sang Long Festival
Travellers to Chiang Mai’s Mae Hong Son region can check out the three-day Poi Sang Long Festival, which is actually more of a religious ceremony. It is an annual event celebrated by the Shan (or Tai Yai) tribes, in which young boys from 7 to 14 years of age go to the temple to be ordained as novice monks. On the first day the boys are received, on the second day there is a Sang Long parade, and the third day, called “Kam Sang”, is the ordination day. This ceremony takes place at temples throughout Mae Hong Son.
Elephant Back Ordination
Also referred to as Buat Chang, the Si Satchanalai Elephant Back Ordination Procession is a traditional practice of the Thai Phuan—citizens of Ban Hat Siao, in Sukhothai. On the first day a procession takes place, but on the following day a spectacular procession of ordination candidates—destined for the monkhood—dressed in colourful costumes and sitting on the backs of some 20-30 decorated elephants. The ordination ceremony includes head shaving, bathing, and dressing up candidates (as well as elephants). The event takes place in and around the village and the Si Satchanalai District Office.
Nang Yai Wat Khanon Festival
Nang Yai is a form of shadow play found in Thailand, using puppets made of painted buffalo hide, and following a story that is narrated by songs, chants, and music. This year’s Nang Yai Wat Khanon Festival, held at the Wat Kanon Thai Shadow Theatre Museum in Ratchaburi, will feature shadow plays, booths displaying artwork, Thai-Mon food stalls, a flea market by freelance artists, a Khon dance from the Fine Arts Department’s alumni, a Lakhon Chatree puppet show, a Dikir Hulu (Thai Muslim folk dance), and performances by students at the front courtyard of the museum.
Phuket Bike Week
April 11-14, 20-21
The Phuket Bike Week 2018 marks the 24th anniversary of this annual event and promises to be the largest gathering of motorcyclists in Thailand, as organizers are expecting to draw over 10,000 riders, from 30 countries, along with 50,000 onlookers, to the island of Phuket. This event aims to put Phuket at the forefront of Asian and international communities of big bike enthusiasts, and to promote Phuket tourism at the same time. From the 11th to the 14th the bikers will gather in Patong—overlapping with the Songkran Festival—before moving to Phuket Town on the 20th and 21st.