Planning your trip to coincide with a Pattaya festival, will give you a chance to experience the culture and tradition of the city and the region. While there are many religious festivals in Thailand that are celebrated throughout the country, Pattaya has some popular festivals and events that are unique to the city or region. Here is a calendar of the best known festivals that take place in and around the city.
Of all the festivals in Pattaya, this is the most untraditional. Held since 2002, it aims at showcasing ‘cosmopolitan Pattaya’. Popular Thai and Asian artists perform across various genres of music from pop, hip hop, rock and reggae. Performances by local and international artists take place at different venues, from 6.00pm to midnight over three days. Over 400,000 visitors come to take part in this Pattaya festival every year. To find out more take a look here at our Pattaya music festival page.
Songkran is celebrated all over the country as it is the Thai New Year. The Songkran festival in Pattaya or (Wan Lai Festival) is on April 18th and 19th, a few days later than in other parts of Thailand. The festivities start almost a week earlier with water fights breaking out on the streets and drenching passersby irrespective of whether you are a local or a visitor. As per tradition, locals pay respect to their elders and monks by pouring fragrant water on their hands. The city comes alive with celebrations during this Pattaya festival with beauty pageants, colourful processions, plays and other entertaining events.
Held in Sriracha district near Pattaya, during this festival, local officials dressed in traditional costumes take to the street in processions. Several ceremonies are also performed to appease ancestors. Of all the Pattaya festivals, this is the one that best showcases the region’s colourful costumes and ceremonies. During the festival, you can see displays of local games, crafts and cuisine. Find out more by visiting our ancestral spirits ceremony in Sriracha festival page.
This is primarily a Buddhist festival, where a procession with the Buddha image of Phra Puttha Sihing is taken around the city. Although it is not as colourful as some of the other festivals of the country, there are traditional dance performances, cultural shows and folk games that give visitors a glimpse of the Thai culture. Learn more about the annual Chonburi province festival.
For over 20 years now, Pattaya hosts a Marathon in July. Starting at the Central Beach Festival Mall, there are options for a full (42km), half (20km) and quarter marathon (10 km), as well as separate races for students (3.5 km) and wheelchair athletes. With prizes worth 200,000 Thai baht for the best male and female runners, this event attracts as much international participation as any other Pattaya festival. Get more information from our marathon in Pattaya page.
This festival can be seen only in the Chonburi province near Pattaya. One of the most spectacular Thai festivals, this event is held in the 11th month of the lunar calendar, usually close to the full moon. Farmers from all over the province gather in Chonburi with their water buffalos to take part in the festivities. There is a beauty pageant for Miss Farm Maiden, prizes for the best decorated buffalos and processions of buffalo-drawn carts. The most exciting spectacle of this Pattaya festival takes place in the stadium, where the farmhands race bareback on the buffalos. If you are interested in this festival then take a look here at the buffalo races in Chonburi.
Known as the festival of light, this festival gets its name from ‘Loy’ which means to float and ‘Krathong’, the banana leaf receptacle, on which a candle and other offerings are floated down a river or a water body. A wish is made before the Krathong is set afloat. This Pattaya festival, which takes place according to the lunar calendar on a full moon night in November, has an air of romance around it as it is magical to see the flames floating away into the night. In addition, couples often make a wish before they float the Krathong, with the belief that they will stay together forever. Find out more information about this popular festival by visiting the Loy Krathong page.
Besides the festivals mentioned above, there are several other public holidays and special birthdays in Thailand that could fall during your visit. For instance, the Queen’s birthday on August 12th and the King’s birthday on December 5th are days when you can see the city decorated with photographs of the Royals with candles and fireworks lighting up the night sky. While planning your trip, it would be useful to check the Pattaya festival calendar so that you can be there during one of the local festivals or events.