Religion deeply influences Thai culture. With around 95% of the nation being Theravada Buddhist, the belief system and values of Buddhism play a huge role in day-to-day life. Across the country, the most important values that Thai people hold to are respect, self-control, and a non-confrontational attitude. Its cultural festivals attract tourists from far and wide. Some important and most popular ones are here:
Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon Fair:
This festival is held every year on March 13 to commemorate the two heroines who had rallied the Thalang people to rebel against the Burmese invaders.
Vegetarian festival or Nine Emperor Gods Festival:
This festival takes place on the first day of the 9th Chinese lunar month that ends in September or early October. The natives of Phuket who have a Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a nine-day vegetarian diet. This is believed to make the forthcoming year prosperous and trouble-free. This festival is marked by several ascetic displays like walking on fire and climbing sharp bladed ladders.
Ghost festival or the Phoo-too festival:
This festival takes place in the middle day of 7the Chinese lunar month. This can be actually be described as the ancestral worship by the natives. It includes burning incense and joss paper, preparing food offerings, a papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other goods for the visiting souls and spirits. Vegetarian meals are served with empty seats for each of the deceased family member. Other activities include floating of paper boats and lanterns on water which is believed to direct the lost souls.
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta:
The Kata Beach Resorts host yachtsmen, largely from different neighboring countries who compete for trophies every December.
Phuket Travel Fair:
It starts on 1st November. It’s usually called the Patong Carnival, where the celebration takes place. You would encounter sports events, colourful parades, and beauty competitions for foreign tourists that serve to be a major attraction. It’s a highly popular festival that witnesses around 30000 foreign and Thai tourists for the opening of the carnival.
Chao Le Boat Floating Festival:
It falls during the middle of the sixth and seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar yearly. The villages of Rawai and Sapam which mainly has sea gipsy inhabitants hold their ceremony on the 13th. Koh Si celebrates on 14th, and Laem La celebrates on the 15th. These ceremonies are believed to drive away evil and bring good luck.