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Songkran Celebration

ANNUAL FESTIVALS
AND HOLIDAYS

Chiang Mai's festivals keep the most avid fun-seekers happy. There is something for everyone, whether its thehot-season water festival "Songkran" in April or the quieter moonlight festival "Loy Krathong".

This calendar is based upon the best information available.Event dates for each year are usually announced very late in the previous year. Buddhist festivals follow the lunar calendar and canchange by several weeks forward or back from a previous year, butmany other festivals tend to occur at roughly the same date fromyear to year.

DATE EVENT

JANUARY 2010

1 NEW YEAR'S DAY
The international new year is celebrated in Thailand much likeanywhere else. The first day of January is a national holiday,following the previous night's fireworks displays.
Dec 27 -
Jan 5
CHIANGMAI RED CROSS AND WINTER FAIR
This annual fair is a large and splendid provincial event for muchof the province's agricultural population. Entertainment galore,games and activities for children and grown -ups alike. Be sure to go fishing at the Red Cross Booth where hundreds of valuable prizes are given away every hour for lucky fishermen. Another big crowd pleaser is the Miss Chiangmai Beauty pageant held in the evening and nationally televised.
16 - 18

BORSANG UMBRELLA FESTIVAL
The Umbrella Festival, one of the most popular annual festivals in Chiang Mai Province, is celebrated at Borsarng Village in theSankampaeng District located 9 kms. from the inner city of Chiang Mai, or 7 kms. from the Superhighway intersection. There are parades along the main street of the village each day of thefestival. The biggest parade is on Friday, the opening day featuring traditional ancient bells, drums and Lanna musicalinstruments, 'fingernail' and tribal dancers, processions of floatsdecorated with painted umbrellas, beauty contestants, Lannacostumes. See traditional offerings for monks, woodcarving contestsplus fan and umbrella painting contests.

18

ARMED FORCES DAY
Thai historians as well as the military agreed the day tohonor ancestors will be the auspicious day when King Naresuanfought and declared independence from Burma. The date is January18th (instead of the previous date of January 25th. Read thearticle on page 36 in this issue.) All units of the Thai ArmedForces in Chiang Mai will jointly participate during the activitiesat the Special Strategic Unit #5, Km 12-13, Chiang Mai Mae Rim Rd. (Rte 107). Memorial ceremony laying flower wreath, cannon fire,parade, tower jump, parachuting, dog show, equestrian, archery,demonstrations, contests, games food and door prizes. Noon untilevening.

20

CHILDREN'S DAY
Children and their parents are invited to variousgovernment agencies to enjoy and learn about the workingactivities. The activities cover demonstrations, contests, games,entertainment, food beverage, desserts, fruit and prizes. For fullenjoyment, all parents should reduce their age to that of theirchildren.

26 CHINESE NEW YEAR.
This festival celebrates the arrival of a new year in accordance with the Chinese zodiac. Each year is given the name of an animal: Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, and Ox. 2010 is the year or the Tiger, and the next year of the Tiger will be 2022.

FEBRUARY 2010

6 - 8 CHIANG MAI FLOWER CARNIVAL
Events at the Buak Haad public park begin early Friday at 8.00a.m. The official opening ceremony take places at 5.00 pm. Acultural performance begins at 6.00 p.m. At 8.00 p.m. preliminaryjudging of contestants vying for the Flower Queen begins followedby performances of local music and dance. The annual parade is heldon the second day. Secure a viewing spot for the parade early as itis always crowded. At 8.00 a.m. the parade leaves the RailwayStation moves west along Charoenmuang Rd., across to the Buak Haadpublic park. The crowning of the Flower Queen and the prize winnersfor the best floral floats will be announced at 2.00 pm. Food,drinks, handicrafts and more on Sale. Performance of traditionalmusic and dance beginning at 5.00 pm.
EarlyFebruary

MAE JAEM WEAVING FESTIVAL
The district of Mae Jaem is somewhat off the beaten path for visitors, but is well worth a visit at any time of the year. Linearly February, Mae Jaem will take on a special significance as it is then that the annual Dteen Jok Festival is held. Dteen Jok is special weaving style used to create the wrap-around ladies garment know as Bha Zin the traditional every sarong. Bha Zin Dteen Jok is,however, rather special because of its elaborate hem. Originally,Dteen Jok was only made from cotton, as silk was reserved for royalty, and in the North this still holds true. The Dteen Jok is most commonly woven in horizontal stripes above the intricate hem created by the Jok technique. Below this hem there is always ap lain, bright red border, typical of this style of weaving. More elaborate Dteen Jok, created for royalty, were made of silk and often had gold or silver woven into the fabric. There is also Laotian version of Dteen Jok, with vertical stripes, and without the signature red border of the northern garment. If you intend to visit Mae Jaem, it is best to combine the trip with a tour of Dominican, Thailand's highest peak. The road to Mae Jaem goes over the shoulder of the mountain, and then winds down the hill, through cool pine forests with their sharp tang of turpentine, before eventually reaching the District town in its broad, winding valley.Year-round attractions include waterfalls, rafting, trekking and visits to the hot springs. Mae Jaem district office 053 485111

MARCH 2010

1 MAKHA BUCHA
This religious holiday commemorates the occasion of the Buddha's first sermon to 1,250 disciples. All are welcome to join the “Winching” procession under the full moon. Worshippers carry lightedcandles, joss sticks and small flower bouquets while walking three times around the temple Jedee. According to lunar calendar. (Monday, March 1 is a substitute celebration day for this holiday)

APRIL 2010

3 - 9 24th ANNUAL CHIANGMAI CRICKET SIXES TOURNAMENT
Daily matches from 8.30 am. Take place at the century old Gymkhana Club, Chiangmai-Lumpoon Road. Matches last only 40 minutes. Sixes web site:www.chiangmaisixes.com.Audio and video broadcasts on the Internet available.
6 CHAKRI DYNASTY DAY
Official holiday.
13 - 16 SONGKRAN
All are fair game in this water throwing celebration of Thai New Year. Wear your quickest-drying clothes. Parades, beauty contests, cultural shows.

MAY 2010

1, 3 LABOR DAY
A national holiday in Thailand. (Monday, May 3 is a substitute celebration day for this holiday)
5 CORONATION DAY
A national holiday in Thailand.
13 ROYAL PLOUGHING CEREMONY
An annual Brahmin ceremony held to bless the upcoming grain season.
28 VISAKA BUCHA
This is one of the year's purely religious holidays, in commemoration of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.Residents walk up Doi Suthep to make merit at the temple on this night of the full moon.
2nd, 3rd Weekend LYNCHEE FESTIVAL
The Lynchee is one of the most delicious tropical fruits and Fang is a good place to celebrate this season .This festival takes place over the second and third weekends in May and has plenty of things to see and do.

JUNE 2010

Variable Date THAMBOON MUANG
This merit-making ceremony is held to preserve the ancient Lanna traditions, culture and heritage. The various activities are at the four gates and corners of the ancient city walls.

JULY 2010

25 ASARAHA BUCHA
This Buddhist holy day commemorates the Buddha's sermon to hisfirst five disciples.
26 KHOW PAHNSA
The start of the three-month Buddhist lent called "KHOW PAHNSA" during which monks do not leave their temple unnecessarily for fear of harming any living things.This is also the traditional period for Thai men to become a monk..

AUGUST 2010

12 HER MAJESTY'S BIRTHDAY (THAI MOTHER'S DAY)
On this national holiday, government buildings and streets throughout the kingdom are brightly lit in a celebration of Mothers' Day and as a tribute to Her Majesty.

SEPTEMBER 2010

OCTOBER 2010

22 AWK PANSA DAY & DHEVO-ROHANA OFFERING CEREMONY
Marks the end of both Lent and the rainy retreat.Believed to be the day Buddha's spirit returned to earth. Held onthe first day of the waning moon in the 11th lunar month. Driedfoods are presented to monks at the temple on the Chiang MaiUniversity campus.
23, 25 KINGCHULALONGKORN COMMEMORATION DAY
Public holiday. (Monday, October 25 is a substitute celebration day for this holiday)

NOVEMBER 2010

1 - 15 SUNFLOWER BLOOMING SEASON
The yellow Mexican wild sunflowers bloom beautifully covering allhillsides. A three day weekend fair all visitors enjoy. Mae HongSorn.
27 - 2 Nov. CHIANG MAI YEEPENG (LOY KRATHONG) FESTIVAL
Charming Thai festivals; the custom of placing handmade floats decorated with flowers and candles on waterways goes back over 700 years to the Sukhothai period. In the North, “Yee Peng” iscelebrated for two nights under the full moon. As the moon rises on the second night, a procession of beautiful maidens and floats parades through the city of Chiang Mai to the Mae Ping River. Book early for tables at riverside restaurants.

DECEMBER 2010

5, 6 THE KING'S BIRTHDAY
December 5 is His Majesty's birthday. Celebrations are nationwidetributes with gaily-lit buildings and streets. His birthday is also celebrated as "Fathers' Day" in Thailand. (Monday, Dec. 6 is a substitute celebration day for this holiday)
10 CONSTITUTION DAY
Public holiday
24-25, 31 CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S EVE
These western holidays are as lively here in Chiangmai as they areanywhere else. Everywhere from first-class hotels to corner beerbars celebrate in style.

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