Inthakin City Pillar Festival
Held each May, the Inthakin City Pillar Festival (also known as Sai Khan Dok) is a large celebration that begins with a procession around the old town of Chiang Mai, in which a Buddha image called Phra Fon Saen Haa (the Five Hundred Thousand Raindrop Buddha) is carried. After this, the devotees are allowed to venerate both the Buddha and the City Pillar, and to place flowers, candles, and incense in each of 28 bowls laid out in the temple. Afterwards it’s time for dancing, musical performances, carnival games, and plenty of Thai food for sale all around.
Bun Bang Fai rocket Festival
Held each year in the Phaya Thaen Park in Yasothon province, the ancient Bun Bang Fai Festival is associated with the Thai traditional belief that the gods will hear the farmers’ prayers for plentiful rain if they create noisy rockets, or Bang Fai, to send them to the heavens. On the festival day, beautiful rockets are paraded to the launch site, while the local people dress in colourful traditional costumes and perform dances. When the rockets are fired, one by one, loud cheers and music accompany them, and the rocket that reaches the greatest height is declared the festival’s winner!
Hua Hin Marathon
Managed by the Preserve Hua Hin Group—an organization engaged in community environmental and social education programmes—the Hua Hin Marathon race route starts and finishes at the Buddhist temple Wat Khao Krailart in Khao Takiab. The routes are based on the different marathon categories, and include running on the beach. Full Marathon (42 km) and Half Marathon (21 km) runners can also enjoy an after race massage by Chiva-Som Health Resorts, another of the race’s sponsor organizations. For details regarding registration fees, and all other information, visit: www.huahinmarathon.com.
Phra That Hariphunchai Fest
Located in Lamphun, the Phra That Hariphunchai temple was built some 800 years ago. Holy relics were enshrined in a massive 46-metre tall golden chedi. To pay homage to this site, one of the most sacred monuments in Northern Thailand, the annual Song Nam Phra That Hariphunchai Festival has long attracted devoted Buddhists in Lamphun and nearby provinces, as well as curious visitors. Besides the religious ceremony there’s also a cultural performance, giant drum competition, sacred water pilgrimage, and nail-covered dance shows known as Fon Lep.