Thailand

March Madness: Thailand prepares for a month of festivals and events

Hok Peng festival in Nan province, photo by TAT.

Thailand is preparing for a busy month of festivals and events in March, with the return of many annual celebrations that were put on pause during the pandemic.

March is a particularly important month in Thailand as it includes the important Buddhist festival of Makha Bucha Day. This holiday falls on the full moon day of the third lunar month and celebrates a gathering between Lord Buddha and 1,250 of his disciples. This year’s Makha Bucha Day falls on Monday, March 6.

Thailand’s Hok Peng festival started on February 28 and continued until March 1 in the northern Nan province. The festival is being held at the province’s Wat Phra That Chae Haeng temple. The festival, which celebrates the sixth Northern Thai lunar month, includes a range of Buddhist activities, a traditional market and shopping street, and cultural processions and competitions.

Another exciting festival is the Hae Malai Khao Tok Festival in Maha Chana Chai District, Yasothon, from March 1 to 5. This northeast province’s cultural celebration involves tens of thousands of hand-made popped rice garlands adorned on floats, with workshops and competitions for making the garlands also taking place.

Between March 2 and 6, the central Prachin Buri province’s Makha Bucha Day Celebration will take place at Thailand’s oldest and largest bodhi tree. Activities include worshipping the Lord Buddha’s relics, merit-making and blessing rituals, exhibitions, cultural performances, sales of community products, a local market, and tours of Si Mahosot Ancient town. The tree is located at Ton Sri Maha Pho temple.

The northeast Roi Et province will host the Bun Phawet Merit Making Fair from March 3 to 5, where visitors can experience the unique Heet Sib Song merit-making tradition, and the Ban Pa Meang Orchid Tree Blossoms Festival from March 3 to 5, celebrating the white blossoms of the orchid tree that adorn the valley village of Ban Pa Meang.

Other events include the Thao Suranari Memorial Fair in Nakhon Ratchasima from March 23 to April 3, which commemorates a famous heroine of ancient Thai history; the Ranong Hot Springs Festival on March 31, which celebrates the province’s health-giving Thai-style onsen in hot springs; and the Prasat Muang Tam Festival on March 31, which features a light-and-sound presentation, cultural shows, beauty pageant, and fair selling local products and food.

Nature lovers can also enjoy activities such as bird and butterfly watching at Kaeng Krachan National Park Protection Unit 4 in Phetchaburi from March to May, NNT reported.

The PELUPO International Music Festival is also coming up on March 11 at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Chon Buri.

With so many events taking place, Thailand is sure to be a hub of activity throughout March, offering visitors the chance to experience the unique culture and traditions of this vibrant country.

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.