The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update on the exciting festivals and events to take place in Thailand in November 2021, including one of the most enchanting of all the kingdom’s annual celebrations – Loi Krathong.
Please note that changes to the planned dates of the Surin Elephant Round-Up and the River Kwai Bridge Week may occur depending on the current situation, and it is advised to keep a regular check on these.
Also, festivals and events may be somewhat affected by pandemic control and prevention measures; for example, in audience size limits and other social distancing requirements.
The traditional festival of Loi Krathong – also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ and the floating lantern festival – is one of the most charming and visually stunning of all Thailand’s annual festivals, and is celebrated during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar. In 2021 it will be held on Friday, 19 November.
All around Thailand, people gather in the evening at lakes, rivers, canals, and beaches to participate in Loi Krathong and pay respect to the goddess of water. In Thai the word Loi means ‘float’ and Krathong means ‘container, boat or vessel’, and the festival entails the floating of a krathong decorated with candles and flowers onto the water. The Thais believe this is a way to rid oneself of bad luck and negative feelings, and to bring good luck and positive feelings.
Celebrated in Northern Thailand in conjunction with Loi Krathong is the Yi Peng Festival, which sees illuminated lanterns released into the night-time sky. During Loi Krathong, the magical sight of hundreds of candle-lit krathongs floating on the water is an enchanting sight to behold, as is the equally beautiful scene during Yi Peng of the lanterns rising upward. However, sky lanterns are normally banned during certain hours at night for passenger flight safety reasons.
While Loi Krathong is celebrated nationwide, some of the best places for tourists to experience the festival are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Sukhothai. Once the first capital of Siam and today a World Heritage Site, Sukhothai offers the chance to enjoy Loi Krathong with the backdrop of majestic ancient ruins and is said to be where the festival began some 600 years ago.
Pattaya International Fireworks Festival 2021
The event is scheduled to take place from 26-27 November, 2021. More details will be updated soon.
Surin Elephant Round-Up
The world famous Surin Elephant Round-up in the Northeastern province of Surin – around 430 km from Bangkok – pays homage to the way of life, culture, and traditions of the local Kui people and their longstanding relationship with Thailand’s majestic elephants. While the festival is normally held in November, this year the plan is to stage it from 15-26 December, 2021 although these dates are yet to be confirmed.
The event’s programme for the Surin Elephant Round-up typically features a magnificent parade of elephants, an enormous buffet meal for the mighty beasts, and a show starring them.
River Kwai Bridge Week
Usually held from late November through into early December, the River Kwai Bridge Week in Kanchanaburi province has this year been postponed for a couple of weeks and is scheduled for 17-26 December, 2021. This event, of which the highlight is a spectacular sound and light show, honours the PoWs and Asian labourers who were forced to build the infamous Death Railway in World War II.