Festivals in Krabi

Sea Gypsy (Chao Le) Floating Boat Ceremony

Thais love an excuse to have fun and festivals, both religious and traditional or contemporary, are an important part of the calendar in Krabi. Festivals are joyously celebrated and well attended. There is always plenty of food, fun and ceremonial activities.

Some have been going on for centuries, others are new additions. Being in Krabi during festivals certainly adds to your holiday experience. The biggest festival of the year is Songkran – the massive nationwide waterfight in April -which is certainly fun if you don’t mind a playful soaking.

Loi Kratong, in November, is more sedate, but charming as glowing lanterns light up the night sky and sins are washed down waterways on delicately decorated floats. Krabi also has several of it’s own unique festivals that are worth being in town to experience. Here are the most important:

Krabi Festivals

Chinese New Year
This is celebrated across the world, largely due the diaspora of Chinese descendents scattered around Southeast Asia and beyond.

There is a sizeable Chinese community in Krabi and some sections of Krabi Town come alive with lanterns, dragon processions and gift exchanging events, usually practiced by a small community. It’s more pronounced in Bangkok and bigger centres.

Makha Bucha Day
This is mostly a pious religious event (without festivities really) and involves Buddhsits going to the temple to commemorate an important date in the life of Gautama Buddha.

Songkran Water Festival
This is the highlight of the festivals in Thailand and is also the most fun. For three days, and sometimes longer, the whole country participates in one large water fight, usually centred on popular places in each town, city or village. It’s a great time to be in Thailand if you don’t mind severe inconvenience, a soaking and lots of childish fun. Everyone is in high spirits, though the real tradition is to celebrate the Thai New Year with family. 13th-15th April.

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Queen’s Birthday (Mother’s Day)
A day of national pride and respect for the Thai’s much-loved Queen. A public holiday typified by events and lots of respect paid to the Queen with life-size murals. 12th August.

Sea Gypsy (Chao Le) Floating Boat Ceremony
A traditional festival unseen anywhere else in Thailand, where the Moken Sea Gypsys gather at the beach near Saladan, to float small boats into the tide in a show of respect for spirits and to ward off bad luck at sea.  On the full moon day in the sixth and the eleventh months of the lunar calendar.

Krabi Boek Fa Andaman Festival 2016
Coinciding with an event to officially declare the tourist season open, this local festival includes activities, competitions, lots of food, parades, musical performances, markets and more – a delightful true Thai experience.  16th-18th Novembermore

Loi Kratong
The second most important festival in Thailand, traditionally, releases the sins of the past year by floating kratong (small lotus-shaped flower arrangements with incense stick) down waterways to flush away sins of the year. The releasing of khoms (glowing paper balloons), into the night adds an enchanting touch to the festivities.

King’s Birthday (Father’s Day)
The 5th of December is King Bhumipol’s birthday, also serving as the Father’s Day holiday. There is a grand celebration at Sanam Luang in Bangkok and Thai citizens gather to pay respects and wish the King a happy birthday. Throughout December, you can see almost every street decorated with Thai flags in Krabi Town and the resorts, along with the King’s pictures and many beautiful flowers. On this day, Thai people also give canna flowers – the symbol of Father’s Day – to their fathers and take their fathers out for a special meal. 05th December.

Christmas Day
Although most Thais are Buddhist and will treat this days as just another working day, they enter into the spirit of Christmas enthusiastically with decorations, Christmas carols, plenty of shop merchandising and all the tinsel, so that all the visitors needn’t miss out. Many hotels put on an obligatory Christmas dinner. 25th December.

New Year’s Eve
A Western addition to the Thai calendar; the seeing in of the New Year is celebrated with parties and countdowns across the country and plenty of options to choose from, including exclusive functions and open parties. Most business close down and Thais return to their family homes for three or four days. 31st December.