Traditional Festivals and Celebrations of Bangkok Thailand & Video

Traditional Festivals and Celebrations of Bangkok Thailand

Table of Contents (Quick Links)

View all our CITY GUIDES

Listen (English voice)

Bangkok Thailand Video

Traditional Festivals and Celebrations of Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok, the vibrant capital city of Thailand, is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional festivals. These festivals are a celebration of Thai traditions, customs, and beliefs, and showcase the unique cultural diversity of the city. From lively parades to religious ceremonies, Bangkok offers a wide range of traditional festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Let’s explore some of the most prominent ones:

Thai New Year – Songkran Festival

  • Water fights: One of the highlights of the Songkran Festival is the water fights that take place on the streets of Bangkok. Locals and tourists alike engage in friendly water battles using water guns, buckets, and hoses to symbolize the washing away of bad luck and starting the new year with a clean slate.
  • Buddhist rituals: The festival also involves visiting temples and participating in Buddhist rituals, such as making merit and pouring scented water over Buddha statues as a gesture of purification and blessings.
  • Street parties: Bangkok’s streets come alive with vibrant street parties during Songkran. Music, dance performances, and traditional games create a festive atmosphere throughout the city.

Loi Krathong Festival

  • Float releases: During the Loi Krathong Festival, people release beautifully decorated floats, called “krathongs,” onto rivers and canals as a way to pay respects to the goddess of water and seek forgiveness for any wrongdoings.
  • Fireworks and lanterns: The night sky is illuminated with fireworks and lanterns, creating a magical ambiance. The lanterns, known as “khom loi,” are released into the air, symbolizing the release of negativity and making wishes for the future.
  • Traditional performances: Traditional dance and music performances are held at various locations in Bangkok, showcasing the cultural heritage of Thailand.

Bangkok Thailand

Chinese New Year

  • Dragon and lion dances: Bangkok’s Chinatown comes alive during the Chinese New Year celebrations with vibrant dragon and lion dances. These traditional performances are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
  • Street food and markets: The streets are filled with food stalls offering a wide variety of delicious Chinese and Thai dishes. Visitors can also explore the bustling markets selling traditional Chinese products and decorations.
  • Firecrackers and fireworks: The Chinese New Year festivities are accompanied by the loud sounds of firecrackers and spectacular fireworks displays, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Vegetarian Festival

  • Vegetarian cuisine: During the Vegetarian Festival, many Thai-Chinese communities in Bangkok follow a strict vegetarian diet for nine days. Vegetarian food stalls can be found throughout the city, offering a wide range of delicious plant-based dishes.
  • Purification rituals: Participants engage in various purification rituals, including firewalking and body piercing, to demonstrate their devotion and cleanse themselves of impurities.
  • Processions and ceremonies: Colorful processions featuring elaborate costumes and traditional music are held during the festival, creating a visually stunning spectacle.

Bangkok Thailand

Chakri Day

  • Commemorating the Chakri Dynasty: Chakri Day is a national holiday in Thailand that commemorates the founding of the Chakri Dynasty, the current ruling dynasty of Thailand. It is a day to honor the contributions of the royal family.
  • Ceremonial rites: Bangkok’s Grand Palace is the focal point of the celebrations, with ceremonial rites and offerings taking place to pay respects to past kings.
  • Wreath-laying ceremonies: People also participate in wreath-laying ceremonies at the statues of past kings, showing their gratitude and respect.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony

  • Agricultural traditions: The Royal Ploughing Ceremony marks the beginning of the rice planting season and is an ancient Brahmanic ritual. It is held to predict the abundance of the upcoming harvest.
  • Royal participation: The ceremony is presided over by members of the royal family who symbolically plow the ceremonial field using a golden plow and sow the first seeds.
  • Traditional rituals: Various rituals, including the offering of food to sacred oxen and the prediction of the year’s agricultural prospects, are performed during the ceremony.

Bangkok Thailand

Thai Pongal

  • Harvest festival: Thai Pongal is a Tamil harvest festival celebrated by the Tamil community in Bangkok. It is a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and seek blessings for the upcoming year.
  • Decorated homes and kolams: Homes are decorated with colorful patterns called kolams, made using rice flour, and fresh flower decorations. These designs are believed to bring prosperity and good luck.
  • Cooking traditional dishes: Families gather to cook traditional Tamil dishes, such as pongal, a sweet rice dish, and share meals together as a symbol of unity and abundance.

Royal Barge Procession

  • Spectacular river procession: The Royal Barge Procession is a grand event held on the Chao Phraya River, showcasing the beautifully crafted royal barges. These ornate boats are rowed by hundreds of oarsmen in synchronized motions.
  • Traditional costumes and music: Participants wear traditional Thai costumes and perform traditional music and dance performances during the procession.
  • Royal participation: The procession is led by the royal barges carrying members of the royal family, adding a touch of regality to the event.

Thai Heritage Conservation Day

  • Celebrating cultural heritage: Thai Heritage Conservation Day is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Thailand’s cultural heritage. It aims to raise awareness about the importance of preserving historical sites, traditions, and craftsmanship.
  • Exhibitions and workshops: Various exhibitions, workshops, and cultural performances are organized across Bangkok to showcase traditional arts, crafts, and cultural practices.
  • Heritage site visits: People are encouraged to visit historical sites, museums, and cultural centers to learn about Thailand’s rich heritage and appreciate its cultural diversity.


Bangkok’s traditional festivals and celebrations offer a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Thailand. These events bring people together to celebrate, honor traditions, and express gratitude. From water fights during Songkran to the majestic Royal Barge Procession, each festival has its unique charm and significance. By participating in these festivals, both locals and tourists can experience the vibrant cultural heritage of Bangkok firsthand.