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TRAVEL THAILAND » NORTHERN » CHIANG RAI » Events and Festivals
 
 
Events and Festivals 
 
 

EVENTS & FESTIVALS


WAI SA PHYA MENGRAI OR POHKHUN MENGRAI MAHARAT FESTIVAL
King Mengrai the great festival is held at the old Chiang Rai airport, objected to worship and pay homage to King Mengrai the Great who established Chiang Rai City. The main activities are the homage paying rite of King Mengrai’s royal ashes stupa, the Prolong Life and Oblation Ceremonies of the monument, Procession of King Mengrai’s Worship Offerings, “Wais a Phaya Mengrai” homage paying ceremony, the exhibition booths of the government and private organization in the province. For more details, contact Chiang Rai Provincial administration office Tel: 0 5371 1612, 0 5374 4341.

DOK SIAO BAN OR DOK SIAL BLOSSOM FESTIVAL AT PHU CHI FA
The festival is scheduled to be mid of February at Mu 24 Baan Rom Fa Thai, Tub Tao sub district, Theong district. The activities are hilltribes cultural performances, hilltribe traditional games, Miss Dok Sial beauty contest, view Dok Sial (White Wild Bauhinias) in full bloom. For more details, contact 0 5360 9494, 05371 0194-6.

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL AND BOAT RACES OF MUEANG CHIANG SAEN
The festival is held during 13-18 April of each year. In this festival, there is a parade, water bathing ceremony of the Phrachao Lanthong Buddha image, boat races and folk performances.

BUATONG BAN OR BLOOMING MEXICAN SUNFLOWER FESTIVAL
The festival is held in November. See performances from hilltribes and visit the sunflower field, waterfalls and a sea of mist at Ban Hua Mae Kham, Amphoe Mae Fa Luang.

TEA-TASTING AND CHERRY BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL
Mae Salong Administrative Organization has organized “Tea-Tasting and Cherry Blossoms Festival in Doi Mae Salong” during 28 December – 2 January at Ban Suntikiree village. The objectives are to promote cultures, arts and traditions of the hilltribes.

AKHA HILL TRIBES MINI LIGHT AND SOUND PRESENTATION
When: The second Saturday of every month
Where: Chiang Rai Social Development Centre 12 on Doi Mae Salong Rd., Pa Sang, Mae Chan

Every second Saturday of the every month, Chiang Rai holds mini light and sound presentation to present the insight of Akha hilltribe’s culture and daily life including hilltribe children’s games and plays, exhibition and handicrafts. The performance ticket costs 150 Baht per person and 300 Baht for the performance and dinner.

NANG LAE OTOP FESTIVAL
When: January
Where: Ban Pa Or, M.6, Nang Lae

A multitude of Chiang Rai local products is on sales at reasonable prices. One of the outstanding products that Chiang Rai has to offer is pineapple along with other local products and products from neighbouring sub-districts. During the festival, there are also agricultural product competition, pet competition and pineapple competition. To keep the crowd entertained, there are also singing competition from 16 villages in Nang Lae, stage performances, folk music performance and many more.


TREATER MEKONG SUBREGION CULTURE TRADE AND TOURISM

When: January
Where: Royal Thai Air Force Base, Air Squadron 416 (Old Airport)

A harmony of the 6 countries; Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam is called upon in Greater Mekong Subregion Culture Trade and Tourism. There are cultural performances from all countries including local products, exhibitions, Motor Show and many more. There is also a seminar under the common interest topics of the riparian countries. Chiang Rai is a host venue of this event as it is a gate to Thailand’s neighbouring countries. Originally, there were only 4 countries, Thai, China, Myanmar and Laos but to increase awareness in culture, relationships as well as trade, more countries are invited.

KING MENGRAI THE GREAT ANNUAL FAIR
When: 26 January - 4 Febuary
Where: Royal Thai Air Force Base, Air Squadron 416 (Old Airport), Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai was built by King Mengrai in January 1262. This event is to commemorate the establishment of the town. Lanna Buddhist ceremony is held on 26 January followed by school’s orchestra band, cultural performances. 10 day-Red Cross Fair is held after the ceremony.


POY LUANG CEREMONY
When: February - May
Where: Various provinces in the northern region

Poy Luang is a grand celebration of 3 – 7 days, held in a temple, usually during February to May. The purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate communal religious establishment, to donate the merit to the late ancestors, to strengthen the relationship between the laymen residents and with the religious institution. During this period, there is Buddhist ceremony as well as entertainment. On the first day, the residents will bring bamboo flags and place them on both sides of the entrance to the temple, a parade in which people bring food as offerings to the temple. The northern Thai dancers dressed in traditional clothes accompany the parade. This unique tradition is held only in the provinces in the northern Thailand.


PHU CHI FAH DOK SIEO FESTIVAL

When: 13 – 15 February
Where: Ban Rom Fah Thai, Thueng

The spectacular sight of the white and pink blossoms of Dok Sieo (Bauhinia) at Phu Chi Fah can be admired. Coincidently, it blooms around the Valentine’s Day which makes a romantic getaway. During the festival, there are performances from hilltribes such as Hmong, Akha, Yao, Hilltribe beauty pageant, archery show, hilltribe’s top spinning show, Hmong’s ball games and local products sales.

POY SANG LONG (BUDDHIST NOVICE ORDAINMENT CEREMONY)
When: March – May
Where: various provinces in the northern region

Inherited from Shan peoples in Myanmar, Poy Sang Long is held before the end of Buddhist Lent. The ceremony’s purpose is to ordain boys aged between 7 – 14 years old. During the ceremony, they are adorned with colourful clothes, flowers and make-up. Then they will ride on a horse back or on an older male relatives and march along the street. On the third day, they are ordained and enter the monastery. The novices will take monastic vows and stay in monastery life that can take one week to months or more. There are normally more than one novices ordained at the same time.


ELEPHANT POLO TOUNAMENT
When: March
Where: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort , Chiang Saen

Annually, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort holds King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament on the ground of the resort. The competition is participated by 10 teams from different countries. There are also elephant parade, elephant painting, local performances, folk games as well as local product sales. The proceeds from the event is donated to national Elephant Institute to help provide medical care, sustenance, employment and mobile elephant clinic. This event is a part of the world tournament organised at the Royal Chitwan Park in Nepal.


Day CHANG THAI RUAM MITE DAY
When: March
Where: Ban Ruam Mitr, Mae Yao, Mueang

Elephant is the animal that has had significant roles in Thailand since the kingdom’s establishment. Ban Ruam Mitr holds this event so as to show gratitude to the elephants and preserve the traditions related to elephants. On this day, there is religious ceremony to pay respect to the elephants, food fest for elephants, best mahout award ceremony, elephant shows, elephant exhibition, hilltribe performances, games displays and local product sales.


HILLTRIBE FAIR
When: March
Where: In the area of Pha Sert Hot Spring, Doi Hang, Meuang

Experience hilltribe cultures and lifestyles of different hilltribes such as Akha, Karen, Lahu, Lisu, all in this Hilltribe Fair. Its features include the presentations of different tribal traditions, games, exhibitions, handicrafts, agricultural products and many more. The fair is held near Kok river bank and situated in the area of a hot spring and hot spring services where visitors can take a dip and relax amidst the lush green surroundings. Nearby, there are also other natural attractions such as Lam Nam Kok National Park, Huay Gaew Waterfall situated in the abundant forest.


SONGKRAN FESTIVAL AND CHIANG SAEN BOAT RACING
When: 13 – 18 April
Where: Chiang Saen

The Thai New Year is celebrated in April nationwide. Chiang Saen also has splashing water ceremony, water bathing ceremony of Phrachao Lanthong Buddha image and boat races of 4 nations, Thailand, Lao, China and Myanmar. The races take place in mighty Mekong River. The festival is added up with fun by cultural performances and beauty pageant.


CHIANG RAI LYCHEE AND SOUVENIR FAIR
When: May
Where: Next to Highway Office, by the bride near Kok River, Mueang

Lychee and Souvenir Fair is held annually in May. The fair is filled with fun and features delicious fruits that Chiang Rai is famous for. It also features agricultural product competition, local food competition, agriculture exhibition, Miss Lychee Orchard Contest, pineapple-peeling competition, papaya salad competition, dancing-cooking competition processed food product sales and many more. Lychee lovers can buy them at very reasonable price in the fair.


KRUE TAI CULTURAL FAIR
When: July
Where: Mai Sai

Held at the Mai Sai District Office, the fair features the parades of Krue Tai hilltribes comprising Thai Leu, Thai Kuen, Thai Yai, Tai Ya, Lua hilltribes as well as parades from Myanmar. The beautiful traditions of the hilltribes in Thailand invite all to experience in a festive cultural fair. There are also traditional singing competition, hilltribe beauty pageant, handicraft competitions ranging from hand-woven cloths, clothes designs, accessories, bags, cooking competition, hilltribe performances, mini-light and sound presentation and local product sales.


WIANGPAPAO SUPERCROSS
When: July
Where: Wiangpapao

The competition is comprised of 18 categories. The competitor catergories range from 10 years old, 14 years old, 45 years old, amateurs, professionals and different types of motors.


AKHA SWINGING TRADITION
When: August - September
Where: Doi Mae Salong

The tradition is held for 4 days on the purpose of celebrating the crops that have been planted and waited to be harvested. It is also a ceremony to honour women. The celebration starts with the ritual’s late ancestors. The second day is the day that they set up the giant swing, believed to be protected by guardian spirits and this is the start of the swinging ceremony. The third day is the grand ceremony, the start of the New Year in which the worshipping ceremony takes place and followed by celebrating, dancing and cultural performances. The last day is the end, there is no ceremony, only the swinging amongst the hilltribe people. Visitors are also welcome to join. During this period, the hilltribe people are dressed in their traditional costumes.


POMELO FESTIVAL
When: September
Where: Wiang Gean District Office

Pomelo, the famous fruit of Wiang Gaen is made into a festival for all to enjoy its delectable taste. There are competition of different types of pomelo to find the best taste and shape, singing competition, music performance, dances, cultural performances from 7 hilltribes, swinging on the giant swing, top spinning show, local product sales both day and night.

MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
When: October
Where: On the bank of Kok River, Mueang

This is a beautiful opportunity to appreciate arts and music amidst the natural beauty of Chiang Rai. The festival features music event, photo and painting exhibitions and special food fair which are organised at 7 leading resorts in Chiang Rai, namely Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Dusit Island Resort, Le Meridian Chiang Rai Resort, Rimkok Resort Hotel, the Legend Chiang Rai River Resort & Spa, The Mantrini Boutique Resort and The River House Resort & Spa. Each resort can be connected by boat services along Kok River.

 

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN 3 LANDS, TOUR OF MEKONG
When: September - October
Where: Chiang Khong Thailand, China and Lao

Get fit, be healthy and enjoy the beauty of nature in the mountain bike journey. The tour starts at Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai then the bikes will be carried by ferry to cross Mekong River passing Chiang Kok, Lao PDR to Soploei, Myanmar to Sipsongpanna, China then along the upper Mekong to Thai Lue Chiang Klang Village, Meuang La, Chinese and Lao borders, Natoei Village, Udomsai, Pakmong and last in Luang Phra Bang. The event is organised by Tourism Authority of Thailand and Chiang Rai Administration Office.


MAE FAH LUANG SPORTS
When: October
Where: Doi Tung

The Games is comprised of petanque tournament with contestants from each region in Thailand totaling 15 teams, Run for Health starting at Doi Tung and finishing at the Doi Tung Palace and Mountain Biking Racing. Anyone who participates in all 3 sports will receive a medallion of the Late Princess Mother HRH Princess Sri Nakharindhra Barom Ratchachonani.

 

BLOOMING BUA TONG FESTIVAL (MEXICAN SUNFLOWER)
When: November
Where: Hua Mae Kham Village, Mae Fah Luang
A stunning beauty of the hills covered with golden blooms of Mexican Sunflowers is not a boast but you can witness it with your eyes at Hua Mae Kham Village. These flowers bloom only from the beginning of November to the end of the month. The festival also features hilltribe performances, tribal sport competitions, local products and the hilltribe people are dressed in their traditional clothes.

 

SUNFLOWER BLOSSOM FESTIVAL IN WIANG CHIANG RUNG
When: November - December
Where: Ban Prong, Moo 1, Thung Gor, Wiang Chiang Rung

In the month of November and December of every year, Wiang Chiang Rung organises Sunflower Bloom Festival at sunflower field in Ban Pong Village with the backdrop of verdant mountains. The visit to the sunflower field is arranged with a tour on a Thai vintage truck. The festival also features music performance, cultural shows, dance competition, sunflower painting contest, Aerobic competition, local food sales, various career exhibition by vocational students and many more.


CHIANG RAI FOOD FESTIVAL
When: December
Where: Banphaprakran Rd., Amphaoe Mueang

Chiang Rai Food Fair features a wide variety of traditional Lanna (Northern Thai) cuisine, ancient Thai sweets as well as international cuisines at very reasonable prices. During the fair, there are Lanna cultural performances, art shows, concerts from well-known artists, demonstrations, fruit carving and Thai desserts contest, sales of local products (OTOP) from 8 provinces in the region.


CHIANG RAI FLOWER FESTIVAL
When: 26 December - 4 January
Where: Suan Mai Ngam Park, on the bank of Kok River

The colourful flowers of various kinds are on display in Chiang Rai amidst the breezy atmosphere of Kok River, near Chaloem Prakiat Bridge. The stars of the festival are tulips and Lilies. Roses, orchids and other temperate flowers are featured in the festival. There are also beauty pageant, flower processions, flower gardens, Lanna cultural performances as well as evening food market. A number of flower and plant stalls offer their products at reasonable prices.


TEA, SAKURA AND TRIBAL FOOD VESTIVAL OF DOI MAE SALONG

When: December - January
Where: Ban Satakhiri, Doi Mae Salong

Admire the beauty of Sakura blossom while sipping a nice cup of tea made in Chiang Rai. Organised by Mae Fah Luang and Doi Mae Salong Local Administration Organisation Offices, the festival also features the sales of quality tea, tribal performances, food competition, food cooked with tea leaves competition, singing competition, light and sound presentation. On New Year’s Eve, there are fireworks display, lantern floating and food offering traditions to the monk on the New Year Day.

 

TEA AND FRESH COFFEE-TASTING AND TRIBAL CULTUR PROMOTION
When: December - January
Where: Doi Chang, Mae Suai

Doi Chang, a coffee aficionados’s destination, is one of the best coffee plantations in Thailand. During the month of December and January, Mae Suai District Administration invites all to taste the quality coffee of Wawee from Doi Chang in this event. Cultural performances and tribal sport competition are also held to promote and sustain the northern cultures. This is a chance to experience and admire the beauty of the landscape that is filled with temperate flowers in full bloom. What could be better than a cup of coffee and picturesque view!