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Festivals and Special Events

Various festivals and special events are held in Pattaya throughout the year. Often, they are related to history and traditions which most people can share.

At other times, they are largely sponsored by groups with special interests.

These events are held at various times throughout the year and one must consult listings to see what is planned for the near and midterm future.

One should always keep in mind that these events can mean increased crowds, and disruptions to traffic and daily life. Below are some festivals which might be of general interest.

Songkran: as mentioned above, this festival occurs in mid-April. It is religious in its origins but is now celebrated as a non-religious, 24 hour a day, ten day extravaganza where people spray each other with water – often with high powered water canon -  and put sticky powder on each other. Deciding if one wants to participate is usually not an option, so people must decide if this sounds fun. If it does not sound fun, then it is best not to come to Pattaya during this time. Tourist entries into Thailand usually decline during this period.

Christmas and New Years: the authorities and businesses of the Pattaya area put on a first class Christmas and New Year holiday season celebration. The decoration and festivities rival anything in  the Western world. It is a lot of fun…although more than a little commercial! Visitors and local people celebrate late into the nights on the beach.

Loy Krathong Festival: occurring in mid-November, this one day festival is religious in its origins and is highlighted by a celebration in which people – all can participate – put small candle carrying  banana leaf boats called krathongs into the water. In Pattaya people can swim their boats into the ocean. The scene created by thousands of boats is one of exquisite beauty.

Pattaya International Music Festival: this three day event occurs in March and attracts mainly Asian artists. It is extremely popular among Thai people and hotel space is at a premium during this period. Drinking and partying are at their heights. This is a good time to meet Thai artists, musicians and so forth.

Pattaya Vegetarian Festival: occurring during a 10 to eleven day period in October, this festival focus on vegetarian eating and cooking. . Many restaurants participate and visitors can enjoy really good food.  There are also costumed processions through the city featuring Chinese deities and, of course, lots of  fireworks.

Pattaya Festival: usually held in the middle of April, this festival is designed to honor Pattaya and promote the city’s reputation and  tourism. It features aquatic performances and competitions, floral displays, parades, art and cultural performances, and a “Miss Pattaya” competition. Of course, there are firework displays and good eating opportunities. This festival often lasts for one week.

Pattaya Marathon: usually held in July, it features three races including a full 42 kilometer marathon, and a race for the disabled. Runners from all over the world participate.

Chinese New Year: this event is held in mid-February: It features parades, fireworks, eating and drinking. It is extremely noisy!

Fruit Festival: in mid-May, area fruits are exhibited and eaten in central Pattaya.

Gay Pride or Gay Festivallate November…this festival is lots of fun, both for the gay and those that are not gay. Bars usually heavily discount their drinks.


Bangkok to Pattaya

Pattaya Attractions

How to Get Around In Pattaya

Festivals and Special Events

Muay Thai In Pattaya

Shopping In Pattaya

A History and Introduction to Pattaya

Do’s and Don’t in Pattaya

The Cost of Living in Pattaya

Weather and The Best Times to Visit Pattaya

Sports in Pattaya

Guide to Street Food

Bangkok or Pattaya? Which one is better?

Some Helpful Thai

Other Useful Guide