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To start the year, Bangkok's Countdown at the Central World Plaza and around Rattanakosin island is a good excuse for a party. Expect plenty of loud Thai pop music to accompany the pyrotechnics and laser shows.
Later in January, The people of Bor Sang, known to visitors as "the Umbrella Village", celebrate their traditional craft and skills with the annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival held on the main street, featuring contests, exhibitions, a Miss Bor Sang pageant and stalls selling umbrellas and other local handicrafts.
In February, During the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, temples, animals and even scenes from the Ramayana are crafted from flowers and paraded through the streets of Thailand's second city.
March sees more than 30 Thai designers and a select number of international fashionistas showing their latest designs on the catwalk during Bangkok Fashion Week. The shows take place in The Fashion Dome - a large tent set up in the middle of the lake at Benjakitti Park, beside the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
April is famous for Songkran festival, the Thai New Year which takes place all over Thailand. In the north-eastern province of Nong Khai the festival is celebrated with colourful processions, beauty contests and other cultural performances. In Chiang Mai, there is a 5-day water fight and party on the city streets.
May is the month for the Hindu-influenced Royal Ploughing festival, which marks the start of rice-growing season in Thailand and presided over by the King. Officials in ceremonial dress lead sacred oxen and the Royal Plough around Sanam Luang park to inspire the abundance of the next crop. This ceremony also coincides with The Yasothon Bun Bangfai festival in which rockets are launched into the sky to "stimulate" the rain clouds and encourage the rain gods to water the newly-planted crops.
In June, the Hua Hin Jazz Festival draws thousands of visitors to enjoy local and international bands on four stages in a laid back beachside setting. Other activities on offer include jazz workshops, local food stalls, product sales, games and lucky draws.
July sees The annual Phi Ta Khon festival in the Dan Sai district of Loei province. Part of the Buddhist festival of Boon Luang, celebrations include religious and merit-making rituals, sermons, processions and folk music. Also in July The Candle Festival (Asalha Puja) in Ubon Ratchathani marks the start of the Buddhist Rains Retreat. Colourful candlelit processions take place, and the carved beeswax candles are then presented to local temples.
In August, Ancient Chinese tradition states that the gates of Hades burst open to unleash restless spirits, or "Hungry Ghosts", Phuket, with its large ethnic Chinese population, celebrates with the Por Tor Festival when relatives pay their respects and appease the spirits with gifts of food. The most popular offerings are turtle cakes. The turtle symbolises longevity and by giving these cakes the worshippers believe they will prolong their own lives.
In September, Bangkok's Thailand Cultural Centre welcomes high-class performers from around the world to take part in the annual International Festival of Dance and Music. This is a moving, breathtaking mosaic of the performing arts that features over 800 renowned performers.
Every year in October, the Mekong River in the Nong Khai region of northern Thailand is home to a strange, beautiful and mysterious phenomenon known as The Naga Fireballs. On the first full moon night of October, which coincides with the end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat, hundreds of red, pink and orange fireballs rise out of the river, only to disappear into thin air without a trace. This bizarre occurrence is now the centrepiece of a two-day celebration that incorporates many elements or other traditional Thai festivals: light and sound shows, an illuminated boat contest, the King's Cup long-tailed boat race and food offerings.
November is a busy month in Thailand. Early in the month, the annual boat race in Buriram is held in Satuk, 35km north of the provincial capital on the Mun river. The race days feature parades, markets, food stalls and even elephant swimming races. Later, Loi Kratong or the Festival of Light is celebrated nationwide. According to tradition, Loi Krathong originated in Sukhothai, the first Thai capital. It is therefore fitting that Thais hold a memorable festival in the atmospheric ruins of the ancient city. Highlights include displays of lighted candles and fireworks, folk dancing and a spectacular light & sound presentation.
At the beginning of December, The Phuket King's Cup Regatta is Asia's leading yacht-racing event, attracting competitors from as far away as Canada. Races are held in several class divisions, with trophies for the winner in each class. Later that month, The annual Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya Historical Park includes son et lumière shows, displays of traditional culture and other forms of entertainment.