Now in its 9th edition, the Shambhala Festival is set to take place for nine days at the Chiang Dao Youth Camp this month. Meaning “the source of happiness” in Tibetan, the festival gathers artists, dancers, and local musicians, and also organizes many eco-conscious activities, including tie-dying, yoga, and trash-management workshops. One-day passes are B100 for Thais, and B200 for foreigners, while tickets for the entire nine days are priced at B500/B1,000, including a spot at the campsite or in the dormitory. In addition, the profits will support community projects around the Chiang Dao district.
The archeological site of Ban Chiang was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992. In celebration of this significant declaration, the Udon Thani province has been organizing the Ban Chiang World Heritage Festival every year with an objective of showcasing the fascinating and rich history of this forgotten culture. Marvel at the archaeological discoveries, dating back to the Bronze Age (over 5,000 years ago), at the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site and National Museum. Throughout the three days, visitors can also shop for local products, sample local cuisine, and even attempt to make some Ban Chiang pottery.
Over the Valentine’s Day weekend, Trang welcomes visitors from all over the world to participate in, and witness, the fantastic, romantic Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony. In addition to the marriage registration under the water, the event promotes an exotic traditional Thai wedding culture to foreign wedding couples, divers, and tourists from all over. The ceremony starts with a Khan Mak procession, a colourful and lively parade in which the groom makes his way to ask the bride’s parents for their daughter’s hand. A religious blessing ceremony also takes place, at which the bride and the groom wear traditional Thai costumes.
The Sud Tae Ceremony—a wedding ceremony in which the couple are married while seated on elephants—is the traditional marriage celebration of the local Guay tribe. The ceremony is held on Valentine’s Day at the Elephant Study Center, Tah Toom District in Surin Province. It is believed that this unique elephant-back ceremony will help bring about good fortune and prosperity to the couples involved. Additionally, the couples partake in Bai Si Soo Kwan, a symbolic parade of money (representing the dowry), and traditional drum performances and dancing.