December is the month of many great celebrations in Thailand, and this year is set to be even more spectacular with a long line-up of event extravaganzas, led by the highly-anticipated ‘Bike for Dad’ cycling event, followed by the grandeur and joyful Christmas and New Year festivities.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “I am pleased to share with the people from around the world that the people of Thailand are harmoniously preparing to mark His Majesty the King’s 88th birthday with this cycling celebration. I’d like to take this great opportunity to invite tourists and travellers to visit Thailand to experience the true spirit of the Thai-style celebrations during this special month.”
The ‘Bike for Dad’ cycling event scheduled on 11 December is organised to mark His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 88th birthday anniversary, which is on 5 December. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will lead the 29 km ride along Bangkok’s streets. The cycling celebration will also be organised in provinces across the country, while Thais living abroad are encouraged to stage their own events. The cycling exercise is modelled after the ‘Bike for Mom’ event on 16 August, which drew tens of thousands of participants nationwide and set a new world record (Thailand hosts largest ever bicycle parade to celebrate Queen’s birthday).
Along with the ‘Bike for Dad’ extravaganza, major streets and buildings across Thailand will be elaborately and beautifully decorated with lighting and decorations in honour of His Majesty the King of Thailand. In Bangkok, the best places to see the spectacular lighting are along Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Royal Park (Sanam Luang), and the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The Ministry of Culture has also organised ‘cultural road’ activities at six venues around Rattanakosin Island during 1-5 December, 2015, 10.00 – 22.00 Hrs. Visitors can explore booths selling cultural products from the four regions of Thailand at Sanam Luang; Khon Thai masked dances and music performances at the National Museum; special performances from the Bunditpattanasilpa Institute at the area in front of the Rattanakosin Hotel; cultural stage shows at the Khok Wua Intersection, an art market and jazz music performance at the Ratchadamnoen Comtemporary Art Centre, and a puppet show and children’s Khon performance at the Royal Pavilion Mahajessadabodin. The National Museum also invites interested public to visit the Museum at night during 16.00 – 20.30 Hrs. every Friday and Saturday from December 2015 – March 2016.
Moreover, as the nation and the entire world get into the holiday spirit, TAT is inviting local and international tourists to join in Christmas celebrations, which will be held in several venues, including:
Bangkok Illumination 2015 (1 December 2015 – 3 January 2016): The centre stage of the Christmas celebration in Bangkok this year seems to be in the areas around Sukhumvit Sois 26 – 31 which is the location of the Emporium, Emquartier and Benjasiri Park. The area will become the venue for Bangkok’s first international festival of light, sound and visual arts, providing spaces for light arts created by a number of Thai and foreign artists as well as academic students.
Bangkok Street Show 2015 (4 – 6 December 2015) The Bangkok Street Show is the outdoor festival which will be conducted in Lumphini park with active performances and free admission in which every year the programmes will be more exciting. The Bangkok Street Show event spans a weekend in December totaling more than 30 performers from around the world and takes place annually in Bangkok. This is to help endorse the image of the “City of Happiness and Culture” to the Bangkok Metropolitan area and also represent Amazing Thailand and to elevate this opportunity to be a world-renowned event as well.
Image from www.bangkokstreetshow.com
A Happy Fairy Tale (13 November 2015 – 15 January 2016): Thailand’s Central Pattana and Hong Kong Disneyland bring a parade of popular Disney characters; such as, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends, Princess Elsa, Princess Rapunzel, the Toy Story characters, and more, along with special decorations and sparkling decorative lights that turn CentralWorld, CentralPlaza and CentralFestival shopping centres into fairy-tale towns. Disney fans can participate in ‘A Happy Fairy Tale’ at CentralWorld, and all branches of CentralPlaza and CentralFestival shopping centres nationwide by dressing up as any Disney character and taking a photo to post on your Facebook or IG with a message explaining why they like that character. Include #CPNaHappyFairytale #HKDisneyland for a chance to win a special free package tour to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Sweet Christmas @ Chanthaburi (24-25 December 2015): Chanthaburi province has the largest Christian community in Thailand, and this year has planned a grand 2015 Christmas celebrations with a spectacular 3D animation light-and-sound presentation at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic cathedral in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Highlights also include musical firework displays, colourful parade of Santa Paradise, love and gifts sharing activities, and a giant Christmas tree. Visitors can also pay respect and ask for good blessings from the sacred Maria goddess inside the church.
Sakon Nakhon Christmas Star Parade (23 – 25 December 2015): Sakon Nakhon is celebrating Christmas with the dazzling star parade on more than 200 cars together with a Santa Claus and angels parade. Visitors are invited to join the Mass ceremony and carry the star while walking around the church. There is also the stage play of Jesus’ birth, choirs, star crafting demonstration and taking a tram to visit Tha Rae village and see the old buildings in colonial style, which is the architecture influenced by the French.
image from www.manager.co.th
4th Christmas Tree Festival in Loei (28 November 2015 – 31 January 2016): Loei province is Thailand’s largest producer of Christmas trees or poinsettia in Thailand. Nearly 100,000 poinsettia trees are grown over 5 rai in Phu Rua giving the provincial authorities a good reason to organise the Christmas tree festival or Phu Rua Poinsettia Festival. Held at the entrance to Phu Rua National Park, the event allows visitors to enjoy the pleasant cool weather amidst the beautiful red leaves of Christmas trees. At night, visitors can also enjoy beautiful lanterns lightened up to celebrate the Christmas event.
2nd Phangan Colour Moon Festival (9 – 13 December 2015): The Phangan Colour Moon Festival 2015 will be held at the Phangan Royal Ship Memorial Museum, Thong Sala Pier, Ko Phangan, Surat Thani. At the event, visitors can explore and discover the latest developments on the island as well as the charming past through several activities including a photo exhibition and competition and painting exhibition telling the charm of Ko Phangan in the good old days, beach party fashion show, body paint competition, and bartender competition.
The Colors of Doi Tung Festival in Chiang Rai: The Colors of Doi Tung Festival is returning to transform the mountains of Doi Tung into the highest elevated walking street in Thailand at 1,000 metres above sea level, filled with shops, food, arts and entertainments every weekend from 28 November 2015 to 31 January 2016, as well as on 5 December 2015 and during the entire week of 26 December 2015 to 3 January 2016. The Colors of Doi Tung makes the hills more vibrant and colorful than ever with exhibitions all around. The main art exhibition, “Wisdom of the Inspirer” by over 20 artists from ArtBridge ChiangRai commemorates the Princess Mother and conveys her vision of man and nature in harmony, presenting an abundance of flowers, forests, and all kinds of animals big and small.
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