Along with numerous events and festivals happening around Thailand – including the Bun Luang and Phi Ta Khon Festival 2023 in Loei, the Amazing Thailand Grande Sale 2023 in six destinations across the country, and many different marathons and half marathons, the month of June 2023 also sees one of the most important Buddhist dates observed, this being Visakha Bucha Day on 3 June.
Visakha Bucha Day
Held each year on the full moon of the sixth lunar month, Visakha Bucha Day celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. On this day, Buddhists will go to the temple in worship and remembrance of the teachings and social and spiritual values of Buddha, and perform merit-making and candlelight ceremonies. This includes an evening Wien Tien candlelit procession where Buddhist devotees hold lighted candles in hand and go around a temple three times, representing one the Buddha, two his teachings, and three the monkhood.
Here are some of the Visakha Bucha Day celebrations to take place around the country:
Sukhothai ‘Wien Tien Ta Khan’ Visakha Bucha Day 2023
2-3 June 2023, Wat Chang Lom, Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai
The ‘Wien Tien Ta Khan’ candlelit procession will take place at 19.00 Hrs. on 3 June. The word ‘Ta Khan’ refers to a traditional clay lamp unique to the ancient city of Sukhothai. On 2 June, there will be a Khon show on the Ramayana story and a series of performances by Sukhothai College of Dramatic Arts. On 3 June, there will be theatrical royal drama performances along with star gazing activities. There will also be local food and goods on sale during the two-day event.
Mae Hong Son Visakha Bucha Day 2023
2-4 June 2023, Ban Chong Kham School and Wat Phra That Doi Kongmu, Mae Hong Son
Known locally as Nataya Heng-sattha Gingala Nom Bucha Visakhaburamee, the event is a traditional merit-making ceremony held every year in Mae Hong Son on Vesakha Bucha Day. The event is among the 16 distinctive festivals from around Thailand identified by the Ministry of Culture to be promoted on the international stage. In line with this, Mae Hong Son province is elevating the event with even more spectacular Gingala Lanna Bird Dance comprising at least 200 Gingala bird dancers, along with Gingala bird processions from nine ethic groups in Mae Hong Son as well as from other Northern Thai provinces. There are also Gingala bird dance competitions and exhibition. At the heart of the event, the Visakha Bucha Day celebration at Wat Phra That Doi Kongmu on 3 June will be a morning alms offering to Buddhist monks, prayers and meditation, and a Wien Tien candlelight procession.
Nakhon Phanom Visakha Bucha Day 2023
3 June 2023, Wat Phra That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom
The key element of the Visakha Bucha Day Celebration in Nakhon Phanom is the ‘Khao Thip’ or Madhupayas rice (milk-rice pudding with honey) making ceremony – a ritual observed in many local communities throughout Thailand on Visakha Bucha Day. At Wat Phra That Phanom, Buddhist monks will perform a chanting during the rice making ceremony, and once the ceremony is completed, the rice will be shared among locals for good fortune and health.
Kanchanaburi Visakha Bucha Day 2023
3 June 2023, Wat Tha Khanun, Kanchanaburi
Wat Tha Khanun holds the Wien Tien candlelit procession three times a year on Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, and Asahna Bucha Day. On these days, the temple places thousands of lit lanterns or ‘Pang Prathip’ to create letters or pictures dedicated to Buddha.
World’s Only Wien Tien Ceremony on Water, Phayao Lake
3-5 June 2023, Wat Tilok Aram, Phayao
The Wien Tien or candlelight procession on water at Wat Tilok Aram takes place three times a year on the Buddhist holidays of Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, and Asahna Bucha Day. Here, the Wien Tien where Buddhist devotees hold lighted candles in hand and go around a temple three times is done on water, making it the only place in the world that has this ceremony. This is because Wat Tilok Aram was built in the water, in the island at the centre of Phayao Lake. On the Visakha Bucha Day 2023, the ceremony will feature 50 boats that will circle Wat Tilok Aram three times.
Kalasin Visakha Bucha Day 2023
3-7 June 2023, Phrathat Yakhu, Kamalasai District, Kalasin
This is held at the province’s landmark Phrathat Yakhu chedi. Activities include a worship parade and ceremony by more than 2,290 dancers from Kalasin College of Dramatic Arts, light and sound performances, and over 1,600 traditional Isan flags or ‘thung’ and traditional Praewa and Isan clothes on show as part of the celebrations.
Other events and festivals
Here is a list – sorted by event date – of cultural, entertainment, sporting and other occasions taking place around Thailand in June in addition to the Visakha Bucha Day celebrations.
Roi Et Bun Bung Fai Festival 2023
27 May-4 June 2023, Suwannaphum District, Roi Et
This exhilarating and action-packed annual festival continues in Roi Et into June, in which home-made rockets are launched into the sky in a breathtaking and noisy spectacle that isn’t to be missed.
Amazing Thailand Culinary City
31 May-2 June 2023, Bangkok
9-11 June 2023, Khon Kaen
16-18 June 2023, Phuket
23-25 June 2023, Chanthaburi
The ‘Amazing Thailand Culinary City’ project is aimed to further develop and promote Thailand as a world-class gastronomy tourism destination. While the show in Bangkok provides a centre stage for gastronomy tourism industry professionals, three other events in Khon Kaen, Phuket, and Chanthaburi are conceptualised to showcase culinary experiences from the respective region.
Cross-Region Travel Fair
1-4 June 2023, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, Bangkok
23-25 June 2023, UD Town Shopping Centre, Udon Thani
Presented under the concept of ‘Journey through Thailand, Experience Limitless Benefits’, the event is held to encourage cross-region travel. The show will feature promotions and special deals from accommodation, attractions, tour companies, and other tourism products and services across the country, as well as DIY workshops on local wisdom from Thailand’s five regions.
Amazing Film Festival Experience
2-4 June 2023, Wisdom Valley, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri
Being organised for the first time, the Amazing Film Festival Experience will play movies on giant outdoor screens in four different settings – lakeside, open air theatre-style, vertical cinema, and forest theatre-style. Oer the event’s three days, there will be live music performances featuring Thai artists.
Amazing Phuket Plus Surf Fest 2023
2-4 June 2023, Kamala Beach, Phuket
16-18 June 2023, Patong Beach, Phuket
23-25 June 2023, Surin Beach, Phuket
The Amazing Phuket Plus Surf Fest 2023 aims to promote Thailand’s famous surf spots on the world stage, and to attract more sports tourists to the kingdom. Along with the surfing competitions, the event will also feature food, music, and other recreational activities, and marks the beginning of the surfing season in Thailand.
Run Fun Fruit At Chanthaburi 2023
3 June 2023, Chanthaburi Provincial Administration Organisation, Chanthaburi
Run Fun Fruit At Chanthaburi 2023 will reflect the fruit orchard atmosphere for which Chanthaburi province is known for, and comprises a 10 km Mini Marathon and 5 km Fun Run.
Krabi Music Coffee & Craft #2
3, 4, 10, 11 June 2023, Krabi town waterfront and Khao Khanap Nam, Krabi
Krabi Music Coffee & Craft #2 features different flavours and types of coffee that can be enjoyed in a friendly and picturesque setting, along with accompanying music and art and craft work to try, from 11.00-18.00 Hrs. on each day.
Amazing Thai Taste@Rayong
3-5 June 2023, Rayong
The Amazing Thai Taste@Rayong event is one of three similar events being held to promote the image of Thai food, one of Thailand’s 5F soft-power foundations. The others are Amazing Thai Taste@Chiang Mai to take place in July and Amazing Thai Taste@Udon in August.
Bangkok Pride 2023
4 June 2023, Pathumwan Intersection to Ratchaprasong Intersection, Bangkok
Friendly to all genders and ages, the event will feature the longest rainbow flag in Thailand, representing the equality of the LGBTQ+ community, and for the first time there will be the Pride Stage celebrating gender diversity in front of centralwOrld from 14.00-20.00 Hrs.
Chumphon Night Run 2023
4 June 2023, Chumphon City Pillar Shrine, Chumphon
The Chumphon Night Run 2023 features a 12 km mini marathon and 5.1 km fun run, with the start and finish line being on Paramindramakha Road in front of the Chumphon City Pillar Shrine. Adding to the event atmosphere will be decorative lighting, body painting activities, and music by local artists.
Geopark and Fossil Festival 2023
8-10 June 2023, Central Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima
Celebrating the declaration of Khorat national geopark and the Khorat UNECSO Global Geopark, the event features a creative dress contest, and competitions focusing on toy creation from the ‘fossil land of Isan’, best food from the geopark land nature conservation area, best ideas for geopark go green community products, and other fossil-related themes.
Suphan Buri Music Craft & Folk Art Festival 2023
9-13 June 2023, Wat Pa Lelai, Suphan Buri
Suphan buri prides itself as a creative city of music, being the origin of five Thai-style music genres including old-style Thai song, Thai folk song, Thai country song, modern Thai folk song, and Thai string pop-rock song. Thus, the festival showcases this uniqueness of the province with a line-up of music performances of all Thai-style music genres, cultural performances, academic talks, ‘Wai Khru’ ceremony, an art market, a fair featuring cultural products from 25 provinces in the Central and Eastern regions of Thailand, and an ethnic cultural parade. The event also includes activities to pay respect to the revered Luang Pho To image of Suphan Buri province, and alms offering for monks.
Laguna Phuket Marathon 2023
10-11 June 2023, Laguna Phuket
The leading marathon in Thailand and Phuket’s largest sporting event, the Supersports Laguna Phuket Marathon is certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races and is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. This year sees the 10.5 km, 5 km, and 2 km Kids Run take place on the morning of 10 June. The Marathon and Marathon Relay, and Half Marathon will take place on 11 June.
Bangkok Airways Samui Half Marathon
11 June 2023, Phru Chaweng, Samui, Surat Thani
The event features a 21 km half marathon, 10 km, and 5 km races through Samui’s picturesque island scenery. In addition to the racing, there’s also various activities and events including live music, and food and drink on sale.
Hua Hin Marathon 2023
11 June 2023, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan
The third edition of the Hua Hin Marathon, which starts and ends at Khao Krailas Temple, features a 42.195 km Marathon, 21 km Half Marathon, 10.5 km Mini Marathon, and 5 km Fun Run all of which include the beach in their respective routes.
Café Run Rally 2023
11 June 2023, Hat Yai, Songkhla
The Café Run Rally is all about having fun and stopping as often as you like along 12 km on the way to experience the eco-tourism activities on offer in Baan Thung Jung Community of Pha Thong sub-district, as well as the picturesque scenery and natural surroundings.
Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2023
15 June-15 August 2023
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Udon Thani, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Songkhla (Hat Yai)
This premier annual event offers shopping, eating, flying, and travelling discounts and other privileges at participating shops and establishments in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Udon Thani, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Songkhla (Hat Yai). The event reinforces Thailand’s image as one of the world’s top six popular shopping destinations. More than 10,000 great deals are on offer in the six cities, including shopping discounts of up to 80%.
The PEAK Sukhothai
17-18 June 2023, Ramkhamhaeng National Park, Sukhothai
The Peak, Sukhothai race offers runners a chance to conquer Khao Luang, at 1,200 metres above sea level the highest peak in Sukhothai province. Taking place on a trail route, the race features four categories starting with 1 Peak which has a climbing distance of around 3.5 km, cumulative height of 950 metres and total distance of over 7 km. The 2 Peaks category is twice this, the 3 Peaks category three times this, and the Peak 24h category is as many times as a runner can do.
Khao Prathap Chang Trail 2023
17-18 June 2023, Baan Chom Bueng Literary Botanical Garden, Ratchaburi
The Khao Prathap Chang Trail 2023 event comprises 3 km,10 km, 25 km, 35 km, and 50 km race distances which all take place on 18 June, while there is also a 3 km run for children aged below 12 years to be held the day before on 17 June.
HATYAI 21 Run Awakening
18 June 2023, Hat Yai, Songkhla
Songkhla province and the private sector are jointly organising the HATYAI 21 Run Awakening race with the aim of making it a world-class running event. The race will start and finish in front of the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne International Convention Center, with a total course distance of 21.1 km.
Bun Luang and Phi Ta Khon Festival 2023
23-25 June 2023, Dan Sai District, Loei
Also known as the Ghost Festival, this unique celebration is full of colour, culture and tradition. Its most well-known element is the grand Phi Ta Khon parade by locals who dance and strike poses while wearing huge masks made from carved coconut tree trunks, topped with wicker sticky-rice steamers to make them appear taller and more grotesque.
Activities on the first day include food offerings to monks, a summoning of spirits ceremony, cultural ceremony and stage performances. On day two is the festival’s official opening ceremony in front of Dan Sai District Office, a summoning of spirits, and the Phi Ta Khon parade, merit making, and firing of bamboo rockets. On day three will be 13 consecutive Buddhist sermons at Phon-Chai Temple, and parading of consecutive Buddhist sermons of all villages in Dan Sai District.
Phuket Peranakan Festival 2023
23-25June 2023, Old town, Phuket
An international carnival-style parade along a distance of over 1.2 km and with more than 700 participants and 20 processions, showcasing the rich heritage and tradition of the Old Town area and Phuket’s Peranakan history. Other performances include a light and sound show. Local residents and visitors are encouraged to dress in traditional Baba and/or Kebaya costumes.
Bangsaen Grand Prix 2023
27 June-2 July 2023, at Bang Saen Beach, Chon Buri
The Bangsaen Grand Prix is the iconic race of the B-Quik Thailand Super Series (TSS) Asian circuit racing championship with FIA GT3, GTM, GT4, touring car, production car, eco car and truck categories. Formed in 2013, the TSS is this year in its 11th season. The Bangsaen Grand Prix takes place on an FIA sanctioned 3.7 km street circuit, and will feature over 100 participating cars.