6 Colorful Festivals to Attend in Chiang Mai
This is a sponsored guest post.
Chiang Mai has a rich artistic, cultural, and natural heritage, which is why they also have a lot of colorful celebrations. In fact, many who go to Chiang Mai visit specifically to attend the many wonderful festivals held throughout the year.
If you want to experience these festivities for yourself, book a Chiang Mai tour package combining your tickets and accommodations, and include some of these events in your itinerary.
Loy Krathong is one among many festivals celebrated nationwide in Thailand. However, Loy Krathong is a bit special in Chiang Mai. In particular, their ceremonial parade through the streets and the release of the krathongs on the Ping River is a uniquely beautiful sight. There are also women dressed in colorful clothing performing traditional Lanna dances. Various groups and organizations, including the local government, also hold krathong contests that result in large and elaborately decorated rafts. The festivities are accompanied by grand fireworks displays.
Yi Peng Festival
What truly makes Loy Krathong special in Chiang Mai is that this festival coincides with the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. In this celebration, the locals release floating lanterns to symbolize letting go of negativities like grudges, anger, and misfortunes. Various activities signal the start of Yi Peng Festival, including the Yi Peng Parade, Thai dance shows, and even handicraft showcases. For some of the most touristy, most colorful photos, head on over to Tha Phae Road and Tha Phae Gate. You should also walk around the neighborhood and snap some shots of the houses decorated with lanterns and flags.
Chiang Mai is also known as “The Rose of the North.” Moreover, its cool mountain weather and rich soil are suitable for cultivating plants and flowers. As such, it’s only natural for the city to have a Flower Festival. This happens every February, showcasing Thailand’s wealth of tropical plants and flowers in a dizzying burst of color. Aside from the display of flowers that include orchids, chrysanthemums, bonsai plants, and roses lining the streets, the Flower Festival also has a parade that covers Charoen Muang Road, Nawarat Bridge, and Tha Phae Road and Gate. The parade is usually slow-going, with random stops along the route, and the dancers who participate in the parade usually hand flowers to the spectators. The end point is Suan Buak Haad, where there are even more plants and flowers on display. Other events like the Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival are also held along with the main festival.
Nimmanhaemin Arts and Crafts Fair
During the first week of December, tourists flock to Chiang Mai not only because of the pleasant, cooler weather, but also for the Nimmanhaemin Arts and Crafts Fair. The three-day event is a showcase of the artistic side of Chiang Mai, particularly in terms of music, handicrafts, and artworks. If you love free concerts, going to art galleries, and shopping for lovely trinkets and souvenirs, the Nimmanhaemin Arts and Crafts Fair is perfect for you.
Bo Sang Umbrella & San Kamphaeng Handicrafts Festival
Bo Sang is not a popular town, but it’s home to one of the most colorful festivals in Thailand. Located in the eastern part of San Kamphaeng, which is known for its skilled artisans and craftsmen, Bo Sang is the center of Chiang Mai’s parasol industry. You’ll be amazed at the level of craftsmanship and artistry that can be incorporated in a single umbrella! Bo Sang’s signature style of parasol is crafted from mulberry bark paper and then painstakingly hand-painted with various designs. There are also parasols made from cotton, rice paper, and silk. At night, the parasols are lighted like lanterns. This showcases another angle of these parasols’ beauty. Don’t forget to buy some souvenirs from the craftsmen before you leave!
Like Songkran and Loy Krathong, Visakha Bucha or the enlightenment of Buddha is celebrated in all of Thailand. In Chiang Mai, this holiday is celebrated by devout Buddhists by walking up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at midnight. This way, they’ll reach the summit at sunrise. It’s awe-inspiring to see the multi-hued clothing of the devotees as they snake their way up Doi Suthep. Of course, the views from the summit are quite magnificent and very much picture-worthy.
Chiang Mai might not be the most-visited city in Thailand, but it’s still one of the most well-loved. If you love festivals and if you love immersing yourself in arts, culture, and history, Chiang Mai is one of the best destinations for you.