Chiang Mai Festivals and Events in 2016
The Old city of Chiang Mai lends itself to walking with all the main landmarks within easy walking distance, there are of course taxis and tuk tuks available. This year, there are several events going on in the Chiang Mai, from Inthakin to the Chiang Mai New Year Countdown, you won't want to miss these outstanding cultural events that are sure to provide you with memories for years to come.
Chiang Mai Arts and Culture Festival: April
Young Shan men are taken around the city and paraded in glorious robes. This event occurs throughout the city, and it's one of the customs that is completed before these men are ordained as monks. It's an important time in these young men's lives, and it indicates they have gone through a grueling training to prepare for this day. When you see these men going through the streets, you'll be one of those who are in the know.
Songkran Festival: April
April 1 - April 17, 2016
Several activities are occurring during April to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year. It's held every April and is marked through sprinkling water throughout the city.
April 1 - 3: At the Chiang Mai temple, you can see the Bathing Ritual for Setangkhamanee Buddha Image and Folk Art Performance from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
April 3: From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a press conference for the Pee Mai Muang Chiang Mai (Songkran) festival at the Three Kings Monument.
April 4 - 6: At the Pa Pao Temple, you can see the Festival of Tai Novice Ordinance Ceremony, also known as Sang Long. It occurs between the hours of 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
April 7 - 9: Experience the Pagoda Bathing Ritual for the Worshipping of Phra Sapphanyu Chao Detmuang at the Chiang Yuen Temple. The event is held each day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
April 9 - 16: A few events are happening at the Lok Molee Temple from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Tracing Pee Mai Muang Tradition, Bathing Ritual for Buddha Image, and Making of Lanna Flags will all be available throughout the day.
April 10 - 15: From the hours of 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., you'll enjoy several different activities at the Chedlin Temple. Experience Sand Pagoda Building, Bathing Ritual for Buddha Image, New Blessing and Folk Art Performance.
April 11 - 16: From 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., enjoy the Celebration of Phra Sing Buddha Image, Kaad Mua local mark, Thai Folk Song Contes and Folk Art Performance at the Phra Sing Temple.
There are several other daily events in April, and you'll be able to find something exciting going on during this time. The best advice for planning your trip is to choose a location in a good area to stay and then branch out from there.
Inthakin - The Arrival of the Monsoon: May
May 10, 2016
Starting in May, you'll be able to experience Inthakin. Around May 10, the Buddha Statue from Wat Chedi Luang is paraded throughout the streets of Chiang Mai. Showered with scented water, crowds will gather along the path to catch a glimpse of the Buddha statue. This parade is done to ensure that the monsoon comes each year. It's a fascinating event that you simply must make time for if you're in Chiang Mai during the parade.
Rocket Festival Wat Phra Non, Mae On and Wat Pa Tung: July
While the rocket festival is more common in northeastern Thailand in the area of Isan, Chiang Mai also plays a part in the rocket contest. The rockets are homemade designs that are made from bamboo pipes and it is largely based on how high and straight the rockets fly. The locals get together to enjoy the excitement as gunpowder sets off the rockets in a mid-air explosion that is sure to entertain. Just realize that 'merit makers' may raise glasses of Thai whiskey in celebration. However, this is not part of the tradition and shouldn't be encouraged.
Loy Krathong and Yi Peng: November
In November, you'll be able to experience an annual event along the Ping River called Loy Krathong. It occurs on the evening of the full moon every year. Lighted candles are floated down the river, and lighted balloons fill the sky. The hot air balloons symbolize all of your troubles being thrust from your life and out into the air. This is a great festival to experience the metaphor of letting your burdens go. Don't be afraid to barter a bit with the people selling the balloons if you're short on money. You'll be able to find vendors located around the River Ping selling the balloons.
Nimmanhemin Arts and Crafts Fair: December
This arts and crafts festival has been running for more than a decade. It occurs the first week of December, and it has become one of the most celebrated events in Chiang Mai. It's certainly worth visiting, and it only lasts for three days. Many of the shops and boutiques on Nimmanhemin Street stay open late, and you'll be able to experience musical performances, street fare, beautiful decorative lights and plenty of places to buy souvenirs. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and you'll be able to enjoy a great time with family and friends.
Chiang Mai New Year Countdown: December
Chiang Mai is probably the best place in Thailand to experience the New Year. It's safe, people are friendly, and you'll be able to enjoy a range of centuries-old festivals and events. Of all the events, the New Year Countdown is the biggest and best event possible. In Chiang Mai, they really know how to party. There is good food, and you can enjoy a variety of culinary options from areas around the world. The great thing about New Year's in Chiang Mai is that you can enjoy it from virtually anywhere. Fireworks will be set off at midnight, and you'll have a blast mingling with locals.
Cherry Blossom Viewings: December to January
While you shouldn't book your trip around the cherry blossom blooms, it's something you really must see if you happen to be in Chiang Mai during the blooms. They typically bloom for no more than two weeks, and it can occur any time from Late December to Early January. The best place to view the blooms is in one of Chiang Mai's lush mountains. You'll love how the blooms create a pink canvas that blankets the area, and the smell is something that pictures simply can't capture.
Basic Safety Precautions
Remember, while Chiang Mai is a safe and fun place to enjoy your time make sure you take the proper precautions to enjoy a problem-free trip. Leave your valuables with the hotel safe, and keep a photocopy of your passport as well as a credit card in a safe place you can access.
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