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Thailand’s festive end to Buddhist Lent

Celebrate the best of Thailand with vibrant festivals that are sure to delight by offering glimpses into the heritage and traditions of the country.

The months of October and November is a great time to visit Thailand as the festivities kick off to mark the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent. The rivers are also at their highest level and so there are many boat races during these months.

Lanterns fill the night sky in Thailand

Time your visit for one of these fantastic festivals in Thailand in October and November.

Loi Krathong Festival

If you happen to visit Thailand this November, you can enjoy the Loi Krathong Festival. Known as Thai Festival of Lights, it is one of Thailand’s most enchanting and the second best-known festival after its New Year’s festival Songkran. The Festival, which is held annually all over the country, translates to “to float a basket,” and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river.

Naga Fireball Festival

Held from 5 to 13 October 2019 in Nong Khai, the Naga Fireball festival is a one of a kind festival where people gather along a 250 km stretch of the Mekong river, to witness glowing red ‘fireballs’ shoot up into the sky. Thai locals attribute this phenomenon to the mythical ‘Phaya Nak’, a giant serpent which they believe resides within the river. This phenomenon occurs around the end or after the end of the ‘Buddhist Lent’ period, usually in the period of mid to late October and early November. In 2019, the festival is expected to occur in the month of October after the ‘Buddhist Lent’ period which ends on the 13th of October.

Illuminated Boat Procession

Lai Ruea Fai – Illuminated Boat Procession

Held on 13 October 2019 along the Mekong river on Sunthornvichit Road, the illuminated boat procession or ‘Lai Ruea Fai’ event is a tradition to mark the end of Buddhist Lent in the North East of Thailand. There is a legend that the Lord Buddha spent the entire period of Buddhist Lent in Heaven and returned to Earth at the end, so to pay respect and welcome the Lord Buddha, Ruea Fai or fire boats decorated with flowers, incense sticks, candles, and lanterns are launched on the Mekong River in the evening. This takes place on the full moon day during October.

Tak Bat Phra Roi Festival

Monks in Thailand

The end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat takes place on the full moon in October where for three months, the monks have to stay within their temple. They cannot disrobe or move to another temple during this time, something that was originally conducted to stop monks stepping on and killing plants and insects during the rainy season.  You can enjoy the festivities on 20 October 2019, when the local people come to the temple to make merit by offering donations and items such as new robes. With the rivers at their highest levels, many provinces around Thailand organize boat races during this time.  

Golden Mount Temple Fair

The Golden Mount at Wat Saket has the longest running temple fair in Bangkok. The opening ceremony will take place one week before the full moon in November when a red cloth will be paraded along the streets near the temple and then taken to the top of the hill where it will be wrapped around the chedi. 

Thailand Beach

Thanks to Trip.com, you can celebrate even more by taking off from 25% (up to 50%) off your hotel booking for travel between October to November. For bookings made in the month of October, you can save on flights, hotels and more in Thailand by booking online with Trip.com with their Best of Thailand Sale.

Flights from Melbourne to Phuket start from just $368 per person including all taxes and charges. Save up to 50% percent on a one-night stay at the Fairhouse Beach Resort & Hotel in Koh Samui with a complimentary airport transfer. For terms and conditions, please visit Trip.com.

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