Phuket Festivals and Cultural Events
Phuket has way more happening than people realise, even as a local resident I find it hard to keep up. There are traditional festivals, there are music and food festivals, local street fairs, all kind of things going on year round! The most famous festival in Phuket is the Vegetarian Festival. Phuket is also a great place to be for Songkran (the "water throwing" festival / Thai New Year). Another popular festival is Loy Krathong. Dates for the vegetarian festival and Loy Krathong change every year as they are based on the lunar calendar. There is plenty of culture and history here, not just beaches!
The vegetarian festival is my favourite thing in Phuket! The 2017 Phuket Vegetarian Festival was 19th - 29th October. But the festival was kept quiet as King Bhumibol's funeral was October 26th. Thailand's King passed away on October 13th 2016. And that was probably the biggest event in recent years. As I am now in the UK, not sure when I'll be back for another vegetarian festival!
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2019 Schedule - I will update this to 2020 schedule well before the event - the date in 2020 is 16 - 26 October.
Photos from recent Phuket vegetarian festivals ...
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016 Photos
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2015 Part 1
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2015 Part 2
Recent Phuket Festivals on the blog
• Hungry Ghost Festival 2015
• Phuket Baba Wedding Festival 2013
• Phuket Old Town Festival 2013
• Por Tor Festival 2012
• Kathu Phuket Street Culture Festival 2012
• Phuket Old Town Festival / Chinese New Year 2012
• Chalong Temple Fair
• Por Tor (Hungry Ghost) Festival 2011
• Kathu Culture Fair 2011
• A night in Phuket Town for Japan 2011
• Phuket Street Show Festival
• Phuket Heroines Festival
• OTOP Fair in Phuket Town
• Phuket Halal Expo
Note: Most of these are annual events, I don't go or blog them every year!
Phuket Vegetarian Festival - My favourite thing in Phuket!
Links to all articles and photos on this blog related to the most bizarre festival in Phuket .. I love it, but it's not for everyone, and the "being vegetarian" aspect is just one part of the festival.
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival Introduction
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival Food
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 Part 1
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 Part 2
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2014 Part 3
• 2013 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Part 1
• 2013 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Part 2
• 2012 Phuket Vegetarian Festival
And here's all the blog posts relating to the 2011 Vegetarian Festival - I went a bit festival crazy and did lots of posts compared to just one in 2012 :)
• Crossing the Bridge for Purification October 5th
• Piercings and Firecrackers October 4th
• Vegetarian Procession and World Photo Walk October 2nd
• Face Piercing at Sam Kong Shrine September 30th
• Procession for the Birth and Death Gods September 29th
• Opening Ceremonies September 26th
Older vegetarian festival posts ...
• At Kathu Shrine 15th October 2010
• Bang Neow Shrine Street Procession 2010
• First Days of the 2010 Vegetarian Festival
• Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2009 Photos
Since 2006 I have always tried to see some of the ceremonies, take a lot of photos, and eat plenty of the great food on offer. I am not normally a veggie, but it can't hurt for a week or so!? My "local" is Kathu shrine, located in Baan Kathu. Sam Kong shrine is not too far from Tesco Lotus - loads of veggie food stalls in the Kathu/Sam Kong area during the festival. In Phuket town you find big shrines such as Jui Tui and Bang Neow which are very much the center of festivities. Phuket Town is the best place to be based if you want to see as much as possible.
Songkran Festival (Thai New Year)
Songkran is the Thai New Year, a real mix of quiet prayer and water throwing mayhem. We tend to mix it up - a bit of quiet at the temple, a bit of water... on April 13th 2007 (apart from the water fights) we went to a turtle release ceremony at Mai Khao beach. The next year we drove around taking photos. In 2009 we reckoned both our kids were were ready for a ride in the back of a pick up truck around Patong, throwing water at anything that moved - that's fun! n 2010 I was too busy throwing water and drinking beer to take photos! In 2011 I was not in Phuket, but took lots of photos in my wife's home town, Chumphon (about 400km north of here). Last couple of years simply drinking beer and throwing water with some friends in Phuket!
• About Songkran
• Songkran 2011 Photos in Chumphon
• Songkran 2009 - Patong Beach Phuket
• Songkran 2008 Photos
• Songkran - April 13th 2007
• Phuket Bike Week - 3 days of big bikes and beachside concerts, April every year just before Songkran.
Every year, but dates vary according to the full moon. 2018 will be November 22nd. The main element of Loy Krathong is giving thanks to the goddess of water. The "Kratong" are floated onto the water and many lanterns are lit to float up into the sky. It's all about giving thanks and asking for good luck.
• About Loy Krathong
• Loy Krathong - Making A Kratong
More Local Phuket Life
• Local Markets
• Market at Karon Temple
• Indy Market in Phuket Town
• Local Street Fair in Kathu District
• Phuket Butterfly Release July 2010
• The Weekend Market
• Buddha Shelf & Shrine in our house
• A Funeral in our village
• Caged bird singing competition in Kathu Village
• Buying a House in Phuket
Other Phuket Festivals
There are a number of small local festivals in Phuket such as the Blues Festival, Patong Carnival, the Phuket Pride Festival... And events like sailing regattas and surfing competitions. Well, I hope over the years I'll have more time to visit some of these celebrations and get some photos! For updates about Phuket, follow me on Twitter. See you in Phuket!