Party Season in Thailand
There is a definite period in the year that most people would recognize as the party season in Thailand. The casual observer may say that party season in Thailand is March and April and it is true that there are a lot of events that a Protestant Christian would probably see as parties, although a Catholic may not, and that is because they are actually religious in nature.
The March-April ‘party season’ is focused on Songkhran, the old Thai New Year, which has the fixed date of the 14th. April, unlike all other religious events which are linked to the full moon and so are variable like our Easter. For the old New Year is a religious event and national holiday.
Most Thais would probably tell you that it is their favourite holiday of the year and involves three to ten days of partying depending on where you are. During the run up to Songkhran, many parents have their unmarried seventeen-twenty-one year old sons become monks in the village Temple for between a week and a month.
This is also the most popular time to get married, not because of the weather, but because of its strong religious overtones. Weather-wise, this is the hottest time of the year and the driest, and Songkhran is a celebration that the tropical monsoon has come or a plea that it will do soon. It traditionally arrives in the first week of May.
Songkhran is also very popular with tourists, although the police have frequently complained that foreigners don’t treat the holiday with the respect it is due.
The ‘Big Monsoon’ in May is followed by a dry spell and then the ‘Mini Monsoon’ of July-August and another, but much cooler, couple of months in October-December. The peak holiday period, the high season, for tourists begins on October 26th and lasts for about ten weeks, but that doesn’t affect the vast majority of Thais and nor does Christmas, because they are Buddhist and don’t celebrate it.
However, they love this time of the year because it is cool and dry. There is no real need for air-conditioning or fans and insect numbers are at a minimum, so they can sit in their gardens until late in the night, eating and drinking with friends.
Loy Krathong , the beautiful, Thai St. Valentine’s Day, which many tourists travel to visit, falls in November.
Many corporate functions are held at this time of the year too for the same reason. This, the true party season in Thailand culminates with New Year’s Eve, which Thailand has adopted as its own.
Then there are two months ‘off’, with the exception of St. Valentine’s Day, and the prelude to Songkhran starts again.
These are the only two big secular and religious party periods, but there are also at least a dozen more Buddhist religious holidays throughout the year.
If you would like more information about Amazing Thailand and the party season in Thailand, click through here:
or read my series called ‘Behind The Smile’, about the adventures, and tribulations, of Lek a bar girl in Pattaya:
Behind The Smile: The Story of Lek, a Thai Bargirl in Pattaya, Thailand (Daddy’s Hobby)
by +Owen Jones