Phuket Event Calendar
Throughout the year, Phuket has many festivals and major events to offer. You will find that most festivals and events follow religious dates and the tourist seasons. Festivals following religious dates are based in most cases on the lunar calendar and vary each year. Each festival is a must see while vacationing in Phuket and below we have compiled all the details you will need to catch these great events holiday in Phuket. Please feel free to add your personal experiences and comments to our recommendations.
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
Events during the month of January
- January 1st – New Year’s Day - Phuket gets pretty wild on the night of December 31st to January 1st for the New Year’s celebration. Phuket has a lot of strong western influences and if the locals are given an excuse to have fun and party they will quickly joint.
- New Year’s Week - Phuket Red Cross Fair – local events taking place at Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town, bringing together thousands of people, food staffs, souvenirs, arts & crafts, music and dancing. Typical local festival and worth a visit with your family for some local fun.
- January 5th through 8th - The Phuket International Marine Expo or PIMEX – Taking place at the Royal Phuket Marina, PIMEX is a pleasant event where participants celebrate the boating, leisure and luxury lifestyle in an ideal tropical destination. The show is more than boats on display but also an opportunity to see the latest luxury cars, properties and engage in some Phuket hospitality. Over 2,000 sqm of air conditioned exhibition space and many boats to see on the water of the marina.
- January 14th 2012 – Children’s Day in Phuket – The Thailand National Children’s Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of January. In Phuket Children’s Day is celebrate by the local Thais and foreigners throughout the Island. Over the years the Laguna has been sponsoring lots of events and activities around their lagoon. You will find great activities for children also in Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town. The local emergency services, police stations, hospitals and private companies also will get involved to make this Children’s Day a special moment to remember for your kids.
- January 23rd through 09th February – Chinese New Year’s Week – According to the Chinese Zodiac consisting of 12 animal signs, the year 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is a creature of myth, legend and the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness. Chinese New Year is celebrated across the island but you should witness this event in Phuket town and the Old Phuket Town where it will be more interesting.
- January 2012 exact dates to be announced – Old Phuket Festival – The Old Phuket Festival is held in the center of Phuket Town along the Thalang, Krabi and Rommanee streets. The streets will be closed to traffic and the entire area will turn into a cultural, entertainment, art and performances show park. The converted walking streets will be filled with thousands of people mainly art & cultural lovers coming to enjoy street performances, local food delicacies, and simply enjoy an evening out amongst friends. Soi (a small side street) Rommanee should not be missed, offering its night clamor and charming atmosphere with small pubs and live music. The Old Phuket Festival is an event for your entire family.
Events during the month of February
- February 24th through 27th 2012 – Phuket International Blues Festival – The event will take place on Karon Beach, offering live jazz music from world know artists, international bands, and local musicians. The Phuket International Blues Festival is sponsored by local private companies and it supports local charity organizations. The festival has been happening since 2005 and growing larger every year. If you are in Phuket in February, drop by and enjoy a jazzy night out.
The month of February also offered in the past the Phang Nga Bay Regatta but we are waiting for more details if this event if still taking place and we will post the info as soon as we have news from them.
Events during the month of March
- March 7th through 15th - Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival also called the Two Heroine Sisters’ Festival – Annual event held in the memory of the 2 Heroine sisters, Khunying Muk and Khunying Chan, who jointly the people of Thalang (former Phuket name) to victory against the invading Burmese army after a siege of one month. Taking place at the Heroines’ Monument and The festival is centered on a huge performance depicting the historic moments of the two sisters and their victory saving Phuket from invasion. The event is organized by the local government and sponsored by local companies but it is a great festival, very local, offering lots to each & drink and a unique experience for your family.
Events during the month of April
- Month of April – Dates to be confirmed – The Annual Sea Turtle Release Program – Sea Turtles are one the most commonly recognized endangered animals from the CITES endangered lists. In Thailand sea turtles are becoming very rare along the coast of populated areas due mainly to developments. Thai country people along the coastline also harvest turtle eggs to consume. Since 1994 the Laguna Phuket has supported the Phuket Marine Biological Center to raise funds through its annual turtle release program, to support the biological center. The center has an early release program to attempt a small repopulation of sea turtles.
** Please note that the 2011 Laguna Annual Sea Turtle Release Program was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions and the 2012 event dates will be confirmed in due time.
- April 13th through 15th also extending on the 16th & 17th – Songkran or also known as the water festival – Annual event taking places EVERYWHERE in Thailand, celebrating the traditional Thai New Year, originally set by astrological calculations but modern times has fixed the dates. Songkran means “Astrological Passage” and is believed to have its roots from an Indian Festival, beginning early in the morning at about 6:00am, where Thai people visit their local temple to pay respect to Buddha images, sprinkle water over the Buddha statues, pray and get blessed with sprinkle of water from the monks. Later as the sun rises, the family will gather for food and generally the children will continue by playing with water, soaking each other. Songkran in Phuket is now a major event where each beach location turns into a mega water party, where locals and tourists alike soak each other with water pistols, garden hoses, buckets and any kind of plastic container. Be ready to get absolutely soaked! Songkran is a time of fun amongst friends and water craziness. You will see pickups with huge water containers, driving around “battling” with other trucks and everyone walking around. This event also comes with fireworks and large scale festival-markets in around the Island of Phuket. Songkran is for the entire family but guarantee your kids will enjoy it more.
- April 13th through 15th – Phuket Bike Week – Taking place during the Songkran period with the main gathering on Patong Beach. Amazing collections of bikes some coming from all over Asia as far as Singapore, Malaysia and other neighboring countries. You will see mainly Harleys but also superbikes and many custom bikes. Around the Phuket Bike Week, many events are taking place with fireworks, food & drink parades and live music. Another event not to be missed.
Event during the month of May
There are no major events or festivals in Phuket during the month of May, partly because it is the low season but also the beginning of the rainy seasons as well. There are 4 national holidays during May.
- May 01st – National Labor Day - No introduction needed. You wll find a many local markets opened on this daywith music and other activities. Nothing very explicit.
- May 5th – Coronation Day - His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned as Rama IX, the 9th king of the Chakri dynasty, on 5th May 1950. In the present reign, Coronation Day is observed by a series of religious rites lasting for three days. On the first day, the 3rd of May, there is a Buddhist ceremony at Amarindra Vinichai Hall in the Grand Palace dedicated to the ancestors of the Chakri House, in which scriptures are chanted and a sermon is delivered by a high monk. On the second day, the ceremony consists of two parts - a Brahmanic one and a Buddhist one. The third day is Coronation Day. A feast is given to Buddhist monks and the king is dressed in full regalia. At noon, the Royal Thai Army and the Royal Thai Navy each fire a salute of 21 guns. Later this day decorations are bestowed on officials and civilians who have done meritorious services to the state and society.
- May 13th – Royal Ploughing - The Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day is actually two ceremonies in one. The first, the Phra Ratchaphiti Pheutcha Mongkhon is a Buddhist ceremony to bless the plants. The secend, the Charot Phra Nangkhan Kan is a brahmin ceremony to bless the plants. The ceremonies are carried out each year to bring good fortune to all plants and to boost morale.
- May 17th – Visakha Bucha Day - The Visakha Bucha religious ceremony marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha and is the holiest of all the auspicious Buddhist events. All over the country, Thais visit the temples to listen to sermons by revered monks and make merit. Shortly after sunset, candlelit circumambulations take place around major temples while the ritual is observed at temples throughout the country.
Events during the month of June
- June 12th – The Laguna Phuket International Marathon – taking place on the grounds of the Laguna complex of hotels, the complete event features a 42 km marathon, 21 km half marathon, 10.5 km run, 5 km walk and a 2 km race for the kids. The event attracts over 4,600 participants, thousands of visitors, all from over 40 different countries in the world. Many charity events will also take place and guest appearances from famous people.
Events during the month of July
- July 20th through 24th – The Six Senses Phuket Race Week - Located on Chalong Bay, the Six Senses Phuket Race Week is an international yacht race. The regatta is now known worldwide and over 40 boats participate in this event. Like any events in Phuket, lots of activities are available in around the racing area of Chalong Bay. Voted the “Best Asian Regatta of the year 2010” is an international event not to be missed if you are interested in boating. The official website for more information: http://www.phuketraceweek.com/
Events during the month of August
August is quiet and does not offer any large festival except maybe the Phuket Fireworks Festival taking place in Saphan Hin in Phuket Town. Over 4,000 fireworks will be launch from this point.
- On the 12th of August, H.M The Queen of Thailand has her birthday which is also a national holiday.
- August 5th through 7th – Phuket Pet Fair – Taking place at the Royal Phuket Marina, the event bring together pet enthusiasts for 3 day of fun filled amongst animals. Dog race, dog contests and live music will be offered. Time is from 12:00pm to 19:00 at the Royal Phuket Marina.
Events during the month of September
- September 27th through October 5th – The Phuket Vegetarian Festival - The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a nine day event celebrated by the Chinese community around Chinese temples and shrines. The festival is based on the belief that in order to gain wealth, good health, peace of mind and all that is good in life, one must restraint from consuming meat and any type of stimulants during these nine days. During these nine days, you can witness sacred ritual performed at Chinese temples and shrines located primarily in the Old Phuket Town but also in many town or villages of Phuket. These sacred rituals are performed in the streets and in the temples. The devotees will submit themselves to rituals displays called “Ma Song”, by inserting sharp objects through their skin, mouth and other body parts, perform dances and other sometimes gruesome acts for the purpose of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. The festival should not be missed, despite some of the bloody rituals which can shock some people, witnessing this festival is an experience not to be missed. In the evening, you can enjoy vegetarian specialties from Phuket in the night market alongside the streets of the Old Phuket Town and throughout the island.
Events during the month of October
- October 2nd – Football Legends Tour – Taking place at the Thanyapure Sports and Leisure Club in Thalang (Center of Phuket Island on the way to the airport), where the Legends of Liverpool match will be hosted, where the Legends of Liverpool will play against the Legend of Thailand in a friendly game for the Football Legends Charity Cup. Get your tickets on www.totalreservation.com and read what they say about this venue: “ The "Football Legends" Tour of Thailand 2011 has been officially launched by North Scoreboard Co., Ltd with media partners True Visions & Click Radio Group, Phuket Gazette and Phuket FM. "A feast of football is anticipated with the tour taking place in 2011 with matches against the Legends of Thailand in Bangkok on 15th June at Supchalasai Stadium and again on Phuket at the all new Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club stadium on 18th June" announced North Scoreboard Co.,Ltd. Director, Cris Rosenbergs.”
Events during the month of November
- November 01st through 3rd (dates may change) – Patong Carnival - Patong Carnival takes place on Patong Beach generally held on the first week of November to celebrate the beginning of the high tourist season. You will enjoy lots of activities, competitions, beauty contests, stage shows, parades, food & drinks, huge parties at night with fireworks and live music from jazz bands. You can’t miss it, the entire Patong Beach become one mega party.
- November 10th 2011 – Loy Kratong Festival - Loy Kratong Festival is believed to originate from ancient times to pay respects to the spirit of water and happens during the night of the full moon. Loy or Loi meaning to float and Kratong which is the base to attach flowers, generally orchids, attach candles and incense sticks. The base or the Kratong is made using a piece of the trunk and leaves of the banana tree. Once the base made, various leaves, flowers, coins and colorful decorations are added to construct the Loy Kratong onto which candles and incense sticks are added in the center. Once the night comes, Thai people (and now Phuket tourists) go to a body of water, light the candles, incense and proceed to place the floating Loy Kratong on the water and gently pushing it while making wishes for the water spirit and to each other. Loy Kratong Festival like all other festivals could not be complete without spectacular shows, dancing, music and lots of food stalls. The event is a memorable moment with thousands of floating Kratongs and fireworks. This happens everywhere in Thailand.
- November 23rd through 26th – Phuket International Sport Fishing – a three-day team fishing competition taking place starting from the Chalong Bay pier. Like any fishing competition, points are scored by the kilo of fish caught by the team and the prize venue with dinner party will be held at the Tamarind Bar and Grill on the last day of the event.
- November 27th – The Laguna Phuket Triathlon – taking place at the Laguna, this event is Southeast Asian’s premier sport event with participants from all four corners of the planet and visitors from all four corners of Phuket Island and Bangkok. The event is a 1.8 km swim, 55 km on a bike and 12 km run. November is a hot month of the year, bring your sun protection if you come to see this great event.
Events during the month of December
- December 3rd through 10th – Phuket King’s Cup Regatta – International yachting event, attracting the world’s best yachtsmen and yachtswomen with their amazing boats. Each year about 86 yachts participate in the Regatta and over the years it has gain interest from international media. The event was originally launched in 1987 to celebrate H.M The King of Thailand’s birthday on December 5th and was continued ever since. The event takes place over the beautiful Andaman Sea from Kata Beach, off the West coast of Phuket bringing together thousands of people to party, sail and be seen. This year’s event (year 2011) marks the 20th anniversary of the Asian yacht racing calendar and the Diamond Jubilee celebration of H.M Bhumibol Adulyadej King of Thailand on the 5th of December.
- December 4th – Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship – The ironman championship takes place at the Laguna Phuket in its park of Resorts & Hotels which is now the official home of the event. The endurance race consists of a 3.8 km swim in the Laguna lagoon, 180 km cycle race along the roads of the Laguna and surrounding areas, and finishes off with a 42.2 km run. The event attracts people from all four corners of the globe and a large crowd from Phuket during this high season. There will be many other activities supporting the event, along with the usual festivities and food markets. This event should not be missed and open to all.
- December 31st – Happy New Year – The partying, the fireworks and the partying again is simply unbelievable in Phuket. All the beaches of Phuket Island will have amazing fireworks and release of millions of fire lanterns. Partying continues until drawn in the streets and on the beach.