Events and Festivals in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Culture | Chiang Mai culture
Not the least of the North's attractions are the many festivals that dot the calendar. All Thais love a celebration but northerners have a special flair for them. The Songkran New Year festival in April, for example, is seen at its most colorful and boisterous in Chiang Mai.
Such is the northerners love of festivals that they do not limit themselves to the events in the national calendar and have numerous celebrations that are unique to the region. Notable among these is the Chiang Mai Flower Festival held in February.
The visitor will also find that traditional occasions for festivities, such as the ordination ceremonies for young men entering the monkhood, are muchmore elaborate affairs in the North than in Bangkok.
It is this unparalleled blend of historical attractions, natural scenery and a joyous people that makes a visit to Chiang Mai and the North so rewarding.Quite simply the region is different from the rest Thailand and holds many pleasant surprises for those who wish to explore beyond Bangkok.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Flowers in Chiang Mai are at their colorful best and in full bloom before the end of the cool season when this festival is held. The three day long festival falls on the first weekend of February.
The center of the festival is the parade held in the morning of Saturday. Floats decorated with flowers illustrate the theme chosen. The beauty queens surrounded by flowers make a magical sight.
Songkran marks the traditional Thai New Year, which until 1940 used to be when the Siamese new year began. The festival is the most important for the Thais and is traditionally held when the sun moves out of Pisces.
In Chiang Mai the main events take place over three days (the dates vary for other northern provinces). By custom the first day falls on April 13th and is the last day of the old year.
This festival celebrates the traditional Thai New Year with religiousmerit-making, pilgrimages, beauty parades, dancing, merriment anduninhibited, good-natured water throwing.
People float away under the full moon, onto rivers, canals and lakes, banana-leaf boats bearing a lighted candle, incense, flower and small coin to honor the water spirits and wash away the previous year's misfortunes.
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