Holidays and celebrations

Holidays and celebrations

New Year Festival (31 December/1 January)

The changing of the year is celebrated on Samui and throughout the rest of Thailand with fireworks, feasts and parties on the beach that last until dawn.

Chinese New Year Festival (January/February)

Samui has a large Chinese community, and during the festival people pay respects to their forefathers. Elders present packets of money to children, and the entire family gathers with friends to enjoy elaborate feasts and let off fireworks.

Songkran Festival (Mid-April)

Lasting for three days, this vibrant festival celebrates the Thai New Year. Thai people pay visits to the temple as well as friends and family during this time, while the most interesting part for foreigners are the water fights, where people get wet and wild by dousing each other with water.

Samui Music Festival (Mid April)

Held at around the same time as Songkran, this is one of Thailand’s biggest music festivals and features artists from all over the globe.

Visaka Bucha Day (May)

This is the most sacred day on the Buddhist calendar, as it marks three important stages in the life of Lord Buddha: birth, enlightenment and death. This is a time to visit the temple, while candlelit processions make their way through the streets of Samui after dark.

Khao Phansa (July)

Occurring at the start of the rainy season, this is the time when monks retreat to their monasteries for three months. People present alms to the monks to sustain them through this time, and the festivities include parades of people bearing intricately carved giant candles.

The Fisherman’s Village Festival (22-26 August)

This vibrant music festival is held on Bo Phut Beach, and all are welcome to join in the fun. Thai pop and rock songs are played by a whole host of Thai artists from all over the country, and there is plenty of food and drink available for party people to enjoy.

Samui International Regatta (September)

Lasting for an entire week, this sailing festival is fun for all the family. While the highlight is the vibrant yacht races, other events include live music, parades and exhibitions.

Loi Kratong (November)

This festival is held after dark at the end of the rainy season to pay homage to the water spirits, and people gather at the water’s edge to launch small lotus-shaped vessels and release large paper lanterns into the sky.

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