Phuket Festivals & Events

Calendar of Events 2014

Whether they're held to honour a religious belief or just for fun, the festivals of Phuket are exciting, sometimes bizarre spectacles - certainly never bland. The island's most distinctive event is the annual Vegetarian Festival, featuring processions of god-mediums performing shocking acts of self-mortification as a test of faith. This bazaar of the bizarre is held annually over 9 days in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

Other lively and colourful events unique to Phuket include the Phuket King's Cup Regatta and Phuket Bike Week, while others, such as Loy Kratong and Songkran, Chinese New Year, are part of nationwide celebrations.

The island gets busy during festival times so be sure to book a hotel in advance. Check this section regularly for updates and additions.


 

January 2014

Phuket Red Cross Fair (aka New Year Fair)

Date: December 27, 2013 -  January 6, 2014
Venue: Saphan Hin Park, Phuket Town

Every province has its own Red Cross Fair, starting around the end of the year and lasting seven to nine days. In Phuket it is typical big fair with lots of fun activities but the most sought-after items are the Red Cross’s lottery tickets. The grand prize is spectacular and can be as much as a brand-new house with many pretty amazing ‘smaller’ prizes including a car, gold and motorbikes. Read More...

 

Phuket International Marine Expo (PIMEX)

Date: January 9 - 12, 2014
Venue: Royal Phuket Marina, Kho Keaw
Contract: Andy Dowden, Exhibition Director
Email:  andy.dowden@informayachtgroup.com

The Phuket International Boat Show (PIMEX) must be one of the most interesting marine showcases in Asia. Last year it displayed a collection of well-known yachts from prestigious shipyards around the world including Ferretti Yachts, Sunseeker, Princess Yachts and Fairline, with an estimated value of US$250 million over the four-day event. The 2014 PIMEX is again at the Royal Phuket Marina from January 9 to 12. The 11th Anniversary event will be the biggest and cover over 2,000sqm of air-conditioned exhibition space as well as up to 60 on-water display boats. Read More...

 

February 2014

Chinese New Year on Phuket

Date: January 31 - February 16, 2014
Venue: Her Majesty the queen's sixth cycle birthday Anniversary Park and Thalang Road, Krabi Road, Dibuk Road and Phang Nga Road.
Contact: Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office
Tel: +66 (0) 76-212213

Phuket’s Chinese New Year Festival 2014 held from January 31 – February 16 and the 15th Old Phuket Festival will once again be held at the same time this year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (TAT) and Phuket City will combine the Chinese New Year celebrations with the annual Old Phuket Festival at the public park next to the TAT offices on Phuket Road with many colourful shows including a dragon dance and traditional dances. Four Old Phuket Town streets - Thalang Road, Krabi Road, Dibuk Road and Phang Nga Road – will be closed to motorized traffic for three evenings of pedestrian celebrations. You'll see Chinese houses with their living rooms decorated with vases of flowers, platters of oranges and tangerines and a tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. The entrances of many shops and houses will be festooned with red banners and decorations to encourage luck and happiness during the coming year. It's a sensory circus, with performances of traditional dance, food, music, and art. 

Try to be at the TAT office by 18:00 at any evening during the event as there will be a demonstration on how to make some popular local traditional desserts as well as free samples to savour. What not to miss is a daily tour to Phuket shrines around town by the TAT.  Please contact its office as reservation in advance is needed. The community event is free and open to all. Read More...

Wat Chalong Fair 2014

Date: February 9 - 15, 2014
Location: Wat Chalong on Chaofa West Road

Wat Chalong (or Chalong Temple) Fair is probably the biggest of all temple fairs on the island. It was first started in 1933 by local farmers who lived near and around Wat Chalong. After a long period of hard work and when the harvest was complete, they would get together and create a kind of fun fair on the temple’s grounds. In later years, they set up the fair during the Chinese New Year because they wanted to make sure that Thais with Chinese heritage would join in, too. The fair lasts seven days each year and is a colourful, crowded, aromatic, noisy but fascinating spectacle. Claustrophobic people stay away.

 

March 2014

Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival

Date: March 2014, exact dates to be announced
Location: Heroines Monuments, Wat Pranangsang and Talang Chana Kasuk Memorial Field, all in the Thalang area

This festival has a strong historical connection to the island and lately has been promoted as one of the most important events in Phuket. The fair lasts many days and largely consists of sporting and cultural experiences. During the festival, there are a few things goings on at the same time at a few other locations in Thalang District in the north of the island such as at Wat Pranangsang and Talang Chana Kasuk Memorial Field.

The main events take place in a big park east of the Heroines Monument. You can’t miss this colourful setup, especially at night. To fully appreciate the event it’s best to go accompanied by an interpreter.  Read More...

 

April 2014

Songkran Festival

Date: April 13–15, 2014
Venue: Nationwide
Contact: Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office
Tel: +66 (0) 76-212213

Thailand's most famous festival celebrates the Thai New Year. Prepare to join in the fun and get very wet or else stay indoors! Songkran is a loud, boisterous festival that features a lot of water throwing in the streets.  Read More...

Phuket Bike Week

Date: April 11-19, 2014
Venue: Patong Beach 
www.phuketbikeweek.com

Now in its 19th year, the annual Phuket Bike Week is one of the biggest motorcycle events in Southeast Asia. Get to see an amazing collection of Harleys, Hondas and superbikes at this annual event. It features music, contests, parties and charity rides around the island. Fun for bikers and hangers-on alike. Read More...

Phuket Pride Festival (aka Phuket Gay Festival)

Date: April 20 - 27, 2014
Location: Patong Beach
Contact: 
www.phuket-pride.org

This seven-night event usually starts off with a not-to-be-missed pre-party night, following by many more festivities. Expect to see the colourful and fantastic ‘Afternoon Gay Pride Parade’ and the fun street party. Phuket’s first Gay Festival and Parade was staged in 1999 and was an instant crowd pleaser for both tourists and locals – gay and straight. Read More...

 
 

June 2014

Baba (Peranakan) Wedding Festival

Date: June 22 – 24, 2014
Venue: Phuket Old Town
Contact: Ms Orasiri at Thai Peranakan Association 
Tel: +66(0)81 691 1955  

Thai Peranakan Association will host its yearly mass wedding ceremony Baba (Peranakan) style in Phuket old town. The event is not only for lovebirds who want to have a lovely traditional Straits Chinese wedding; it’s open for all to come and witness as well as help celebrate this beautiful festival. It’s also a chance to explore two of  Phuket’s grandest vintage Sino-Portuguese mansions used for the wedding; the Hongyok Mansion on Thepkrasattri Road and the Blue Elephant Cooking School & Restaurant Phuket, the historical former Phuket governor's Phra Pitak Chinpracha Mansion. Packages for those who are interested in participating in the mass wedding this year cost around 40,000 baht including, a two-night hotel stay and a full wedding ceremony. Read More...

 

July 2014

Kathu Festival

Date: 11-13 July 2014
Venue: main street of Kathu Village
Contact: Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office
Tel: +66 (0) 76-212213

Kathu Festival, or the ‘Kathu Street Culture Festival’as it is known in full, is a rather new event compared to other well-known festivals on the island but it’s getting popular and draws a bigger and bigger crowd each year of its existence. Spectators will enjoy checking out the street stalls, stage shows, live music, exhibitions and Thai traditional children’s games. Read More...

Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek

Date: July 16 – 20, 2014
Location:Cape Panwa Bay
www.phuketraceweek.com

Four days of exciting, international-standard yacht racing off Phuket’s East Coast. Plenty of social activities throughout the event. Now in its tenth year, 34 boats entered the event in 2012 with approximately 500 participants, as entrants from around the world helped maintain Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek’s reputation as the most exciting and fastest-growing Regatta in Asia.

 
 

September 2014

Por Tor Festival

Date: Date to be annouced.
Location: All Chinese Shrines on the Island

The 'Hungry Ghost' festival is an important merit-making event for the ethnic Chinese. Special food, flowers and candles are offered to ancestors on altars.  Other offerings are made to 'feed the ghosts without relatives' that are said to have been released from hell for the month. Experience this beautiful event for yourself at any Chinese Shrine on the island during the festival. Or if you want to enjoy one of the biggest Hungry Ghost celebrations in Phuket head to the fresh market on Ranong Road. The whole market and nearby areas will be colourfully decorated and feature interesting activities from about noon until midnight including the traditional merit-making ceremony, lion dances , magic shows, live concerts, cabaret shows and many more stage shows. Also expect to see plentiful local food stands during the event.  Read More...

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Date: September 23 - October 3, 2014
Location: Chinese Shrines on the Island

A colourful event held over a nine-day period in October, this celebrates the Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help obtain good health and peace of mind.

Though the origins of the festival are unclear, it is thought that perhaps the festival was bought to Phuket by a wandering Chinese opera group who fell ill while performing on the island and who were miraculously healed through a strictly vegetarian diet. Read More...

 
 

November 2014

Loy Kratong Festival

Date: November 7, 2014
Location: Nationwide

A festival of quiet celebration, the origins of Loy Kratong are unclear, but it is believed that it started in Sukhothai, (north of Bangkok) one of the most powerful cities in Asia, around 800 years ago. On this particular night, on nearly every expanse of water, be it a river, lake or the ocean, you'll notice thousands of lights drifting across the water like fairy dreams. 

Gently flickering, dipping and dancing in the breeze as they go, they make a spectacular sight. All of Phuket's major west coast beaches take part in Loy Kratong festivities, with a mix of locals and tourists. Nai Harn (on the large lake) and Patong usually have the most activity with locals visiting beaches like Kata and Karon. Read More...

Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2014

Date: November 24, 2014
Venue: Laguna Phuket
www.lagunaphukettriathlon.com 

Southeast Asia's premier multi-sport event, the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, has been going on for almost two decades. The event comprises a 1.8km swim, 55km cycle and 12km run. Over the past eighteen years the popular race has attracted thousands of age group athletes as well as triathlon legends Mark Allen, Greg Welch, Craig Alexander, Paula Newby-Fraser, Michellie Jones and Chrissie Wellington, to name just a few.

 

December 2014

Phuket King’s Cup Regatta

Date: November 30 - December 6, 2014
Location: Kata Beach
Contact: www.kingscup.com

The Phuket King's Cup Regatta is Asia's biggest and most popular regatta. More than a regatta, the week-long event consists of great parties, great sailing and lots of fun. Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the event has been held every year since during the first week of December. Read More...


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