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Fairs and Festivals
It is widely believed that it is the people who make a place what it is, and the Thais are not only hospitable but also fun-loving. This is readily seen in the number of annual festivals, both national and regional. Some celebrations include Buddhism as its base and some are secular, but all are joyous, colorful occasions. It usually comprises parades with spectacularly festooned floats combined with music, dancing, and the fun of the fair.
Festivals are an essential part of any culture and it is significant in Thai life too. Thai festivals offer the visitor a precious prospect not only for having fun, but also for gaining an insight into the vivid aspects of Thai culture. This is usually the case in the rural regions of the country where the year is still dictated by the agricultural phase and times of toil are punctuated by seasonal festivals that are celebrated annually. Further, they serve as both holidays and propitious occasions.
Other festivals include May festivals that strictly follow the lunar calendar. Such festivals do not fall on a same date and thus are moveable feasts. However, the others are celebrated on set annual dates. The country celebrates numerable festivals throughout the year so fret not, whenever you arrive in Thailand you can be sure of being in time for one special occasion or another.
Among the national events, Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year on April 13th, and Loi Krathong, on the night of the full moon in November, are the most famous. However, the Songkran is hilariously celebrated in Chiang Mai. It is the liveliest event in which water is splashed over one and all. It is symbolic of cleansing, thought most youngsters see it as just good fun. On the contrary, Loi Krathong is romantic and tranquil event celebrated to show their reverence to the Mother of Water. From all over the country, myriads of people gather at almost every water body in the country like rivers, ponds, and lakes under the moonlight in order to float Krathongs - small lotus-shaped offerings containing incense, a candle and a coin. It is an incredibly mesmerizing sight to behold.
If we talk about the regional celebrations, thens the most magnificent is the Yasothon Rocket Festival. It is held in the Northeast in May. During this period, homemade rockets of a massive size are fired into the air as an invocation for rain. The purpose behind is the timely arrival of the monsoon which is crucial for the rice harvest. The rockets are meant to encourage the rain. Whether they do it or not, no one misses this occasion primarily because they don’t want to miss a chance of having a wild and cheerful time before the laborious work of another agricultural season.
Other festivals are the Royal Ploughing Ceremony - held in Bangkok to predict the year’s rice harvest; the Elephant Roundup - Surin which celebrates the traditions, rites and pageants.