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Asia BackPackers Koh Chang
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Find out what's happening on Koh Chang
Find out what's happening on Koh Chang

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Celebrating Halloween in Thailand
When: 31st October annually
Where: Throughout the more touristy areas of Thailand
While many more western countries are celebrating the yearly (and now almost wholly commercialized) event that is Halloween, here in Thailand outside of the more touristy areas, it is pretty much little understood and therefore pretty much ignored.
The reason Thai’s in general ignore Halloween, is in part due to the fact that we hold our own unique festivals in September and October, to celebrate the dead returning to this world, listed here are details on the biggest across the Kingdom including; where, when and what they entail.
Reverence for the dead is common practice in Asia and the multitude of peoples that make up the rich tapestry of Thailand also have their own unique festivals to celebrate family returning to this realm once a year, to see more click here http://asia-backpackers.com/halloween-thailand/

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Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Where the act of blood-letting is accompanied by the deafening noise of exploding gun powder
When: 20th - 29th October 2017
Where: In and around Phuket Town. Phuket. Southern Thailand
Vegetarian festivals have a long tradition in Thailand and are believed to be based on the Chinese ‘Nine Emperor Gods Festival’. This year’s festival starts and finishes as always with the same ritual when in the late afternoon of the first day "go teng lantern poles" are raised at the participating Chinese shrines.

The nine Chinese gods are said to descend down the poles into the shrines, the same gods are then able to ascend the same poles before they are removed on the last night of the festival.
The activities in most parts of the Kingdom are not on the scale of Phuket where the festivities encompasses more unusual rituals. In this event religious devotees will perform ritualized mutilation upon themselves and one another, while under a trance-like state, including but not limited to: impaling through cheeks, arms, face, legs, back etc. With everything from small needles to long swords and other objects such as fire arms and umbrella’s, in fact the size of the item is only restricted to the ability of the pieced person to carry the object.

For more on the festival click here http://asia-backpackers.com/phuket-vegetarian-festival/

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Is Halloween alive in Thailand?

The death of Halloween in Thailand: While many more western countries are celebrating the yearly (and now almost wholly commercialized) event that is Halloween, here in Thailand outside of the more touristy areas, it is pretty much little understood and therefore pretty much ignored.

The reason Thai’s in general ignore Halloween, is in part due to the fact that we hold our own unique festivals in September and October, to celebrate the dead returning to this world, listed here are details on the biggest across the Kingdom including; where, when and what they entail.

Reverence for the dead is common practice in Asia and the multitude of peoples that make up the rich tapestry of Thailand also have their own unique festivals to celebrate dead family members returning to this realm once a year, to see more click on the link below

With all these festivals celebrating the dead, the Thai peoples belief in spirits, ghouls and ghosts, plus the Buddhist beliefs in re-incarnation, it is easy to see why Halloween is not yet a big thing here in the Kingdom...but for how much longer?

http://asia-backpackers.com/halloween-thailand/

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Rafting in Pai River
When: 1 July – 31 December 2017
Where: Pai River Mae Hong Son Northern Thailand
Thailand has a number of provinces which can offer the thrill seeker the chance to take what would seem to most as a hair raising fall into the unknown. Rapids on the river vary from class I to class V on the International Scale of River Difficulty and everything in between, along distance of 50 kilometers. The Pai River offers a scenic view of mountain forest and many choose to camp along the quiet river banks.
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Pattaya Vegetarian Festival
While not on the scale and without the blood-letting of the better known Phuket festival this is still a colourful fun filled time for the local people and all those that want to join in
When: 20 - 28th October 2017
Where: Sawang Boriboon Foundation, Nakula, Chonburi. Central Thailand

Vegetarian festivals have a long tradition in Thailand and are believed to be based on the Chinese ‘Emperor Gods Festival’. Those that ‘spiritually’ celebrate the day will leave their daily businesses aside, (it is not a public holiday in the Kingdom) and visit temples dressed all in white, carrying candles and flowers to make merit. The festival is seen as a chance to cleanse the body and to refrain from any acts that would lead to the taking of lives.
For more on the festival the route of the parades etc click here http://asia-backpackers.com/pattaya-vegetarian-festival/
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Long-tailed Boat Competition in Nakhon Sawan
When: Annually around 5th October 2017 (Dates TBA)
Where: Chao Phraya River, Nakhon Sawan. Central Thailand
The province of Nakhon Sawan is 2 h 59 min (244.0 km) north of Bangkok, the name of the province literally means city heaven or heavenly city and has been around for roughly 14 centuries.
While this particular event has not been in existence for this whole time, long boat racing has an ancient history with the province. This particular event is also known as ‘Boat Races for His Majesty’s Trophy’ (ประเพณีการแข่งเรือยาวชิงถ้วยพระราชทาน), which are held annually at the end of the Buddhist Lent (5th October 2017) on the Chao Phraya River in front of the Provincial Hall. There are also races at temples along the river such as Wat Ko Hong and Wat Takhian Luan.
Contact Details : Tourism and Sports Department of Nakornsawan Tel. (66) 5622 8735, (66) 5622 8552
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Thailand’s Walking Dead – Festival of Offerings to the Dead (Sart Thai) วันสาทรไทย
When: Annualy around the 1st waning-moon night to the 15th waning-moon night in the 10th Lunar month (19th Oct 2017)
Where: Across the Kingdom
Offering food to the dead is a common practice in Asia, while not widely known out-side of Thailand and at times confused with the more famous Chinese ‘Hungry Ghost Festival’, (known to Thai’s as the Por Tor Festival), this purely Thai occasion is celebrated across the Kingdom, but is known by different names in the differing provinces.
Sart Thai also known as Sat Thai
For centuries this time of year is when the crops are at their most bountiful, it is also when families come together, to celebrate the return of the deceased to this world, so they can feast with their living relatives. These wondering spirits are only allowed to visit their relatives once each year and only for a short while, having to return to from where they came, before sunrise of the 15th day.
To feed their dead relatives and other spirits that they are not related to, Thai people will visit their local temple to make Merit and will invite these spirits to dine with them in their homes.
The Thai people have a strong belief in ghosts and the spirit world, especially in ‘Preta’ also known as Praet, Peta or a “Hungry ghost”, who are one of the six modes of existence in the Buddhist ‘Wheel of Life’. Hungry ghosts or ‘Preta’ – ‘departed ones’ in Hindu language of Sanskrit, are pitiable creatures with huge, empty stomachs and pinhole mouths; their necks are so thin they cannot swallow, so they remain hungry. It is believed that people are reborn as hungry ghosts because of their greed, envy and jealousy in their prior life.

For more on this festival, what food is given and why, plus other names and details on the the festival, as it is known across the Kingdom, click here http://asia-backpackers.com/walking-dead-sart-thai/

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Festivals through-out Thailand in October 2017
October is undoubtedly the festive month in the Thai calendar with heaps of events marking possibly the most important day; the end Of Buddhist lent on the 5th October. The day is known as Wan Ok Phansa and is celebrated right across the Kingdom, with a mass of different festivals and events known by a multitude of names.
Combine these with the many other events that take place this month and you soon realize why this is the Nation’s busiest month for festivals. Listed here are the Kingdom's top 40 plus events
http://asia-backpackers.com/october-events-across-thailand/

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Sat Thai - Kluai Khai Fair

When the people of this little known province celebrate the return of the dead with the humble banana
When: 16 – 25th October 2016 (5th - 14th Oct 2017 TBC)
Where: Kamphaeng Phet North Central Thailand
This is possibly one of the Kingdoms least known provinces, sitting as it does in upper Central Thailand, its name literally means the "diamond wall" and refers to the city's ancient defenses. Apart from its past defense of the Sukhothai Kingdom, the province is famous for a small, round, sweet and aromatic banana variety called "egg bananas" (Thai: kluai khai or mini banana).
This annual event is a celebration of this locally grown fruit, the end of Buddhist Lent and the nationwide celebration of Sat Thai, it features a number of banana contests and competitions on the making of Krayasat. The desert (Thai: กระยาสารท; food for the Sat Rite), is normally prepared for Buddhist religious events and is most commonly served during the Festival of Offerings to the Dead, or Sat Rite.
For more on the festival click here http://asia-backpackers.com/sat-thai-kluai-khai-fair/
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