International Fireworks Festival
The night skies will be lit up when the 2018 Pattaya International Fireworks Festival gets underway. This is an annual competition between multiple countries, all vying to be crowned this year’s winner. It’s a huge event that includes parades and live music, plus traditional and contemporary dance. The festival takes place at Central Pattaya Beach, and on the first day each country gives a short snippet of their firework finesse. Then, on the second evening, each nation puts on a full 45-minute performance. The celebrations run from about 6pm onwards and admission is free. It’s sure to be a “blast”!
Phuket International Marathon
The Laguna Phuket International Marathon is a race event in which anyone can participate, as it features five different scenic courses to choose from: full marathon (42 km); half-marathon (21 km); fun run (10.5 km); community walk (5 km); and kids’ run (2 km). The race courses weave through rolling hills and quaint villages, as well as rubber plantations and beaches, and on the eve of the event there is a ‘Pasta Party’ at the Laguna Beach Resort, where runners can stock up on the carbohydrates needed for the big race—and meet fellow runners as well.
Phi Ta Khon Festival
Each year, in the village of Dan Sai in Loei province, the visually spectacular Phi Ta Khon Festival gets underway; held to worship spirits, the protectors of the village, and to ask for plentiful rain for the coming farming season. The most notable element is the profusion of people in the street parade carrying wooden phalluses and wearing brightly painted monster masks— carved from coconut-tree trunks, and topped with wicker rice steamers—but the celebrations also include traditional dancing, music, and more. On the second day villagers gather at Wat Ponchai to listen to sermons recited by local monks.
City Pillar Shrine Ceremony
The annual Samut Sakhon City Pillar Shrine Ceremony is a celebration held in the town of Samut Sakhon (also known as Mahachai), which is located at the mouth of the Tha Chin River—a tributary of the Chao Phraya River. Each time the local fishermen venture out to sea they pay respect beforehand by lighting a firework in front of the city pillar shrine (for good luck). During the yearly festival, visitors are invited to join in on these rituals and watch the city pillar shrine parade—which takes place on the land AND in the water.