By Paula Parker
Phuket Festival, whether they are held to honor a religious belief or just for fun, the many festivals in Phuket are both colourful and exciting.
Many visitors to Phuket plan their holidays around these exciting festivals.
If you plan to holiday on the Island around any of the Phuket Festivals, be sure to book your hotel well in advance as the Island gets very busy.
Songkran Festival in Phuket is the traditional Thai New Year, which is celebrated on April 13th.
Locals gather at temples to celebrate, sprinkling water on the Buddha images and on each others hand as an act of wishing good luck.
But it is a great excuse for a massive water fight, everyone has buckets of water or water pistols.
So if you are in Phuket on April 13th don't carry your camera or phone or anything that you don't want to get wet..
This is a great time to visit and join in on the fun at this Phuket Festival.
Songkran Festival Video
The Sea Turtle releasing festival is a continuation to the Songkran festival, in an attempt to conserve the number of diminishing sea turtle population that lays its eggs at Nai Yang and Mai Khao Beaches.
This Phuket festival includes releasing of the turtles into the sea at beaches in the north of Phuket, such as Bang Tao Beach, Nai Yang Beach and Mai Khao Beach.
Sea Turtle Releasing Video
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most popular and successful annual celebration in Thailand.
The 9 day event doesn't have a fixed date on the calendar, but is always held from the 1st to the 9th of the 9th Chinese lunar month, which is around late September to mid October.
The origin of this Phuket Festival is unclear, although it is thought that the festival was brought to Phuket in the early nineteenth century by a travelling Chinese Opera Group that all fell ill with malaria while performing on the Island.
To cure themselves they all went on a strict vegetarian diet and abstained from alcohol and sex for 9 days and 9 nights, in order to purify their bodies and minds.
To the astonishment of the locals they all recovered and from then on the festival has been held every year.
Ceremonies are centred around the six Chinese temples that are scattered across the Island.
The main temple is the Jui Tui Shrine located in Phuket Town.
At each of these temples there are daily events, like climbing ladders that have sharp blades as rungs or running across a bed of hot coals.
At each of the temples you can buy the most amazing vegetarian food.
Daily street processions are held, where you can watch men and women puncture their checks with various items such as knives and skewers.
This Phuket festival can be quiet gruesome and is definitely not for the feint hearted, like myself.
WARNING: This video contains very graphic images
The Loy Krathong festival falls on a different day each year, it falls on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, which is normally sometime in November.
The Festival is celebrated all over Thailand.
In Phuket the festivities are anywhere that you find water..... and that is just about anywhere in Phuket.
The word Loy means to float and Kratong means leaf cup or bowl.
The locals flock to any beach or river to float their Loy Kratong that have been beautifully decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks in the light of the full moon.
It is believed that the float will carry your bad luck away and give you a better start to the forthcoming year.
A must to see if you are in Phuket as this festival is absolutely beautiful.
Loy Krathong on Patong Beach
The Phuket Seafood festival is in May to publicize Phuket's famous and delicious seafood and to invite visitors to come to Phuket during the rainy season.
Activities include, cultural shows, demonstrations of regional cuisines and of course seafood.
The Phuket Carnival is the official opening of the Tourist Season or high season.
This colourful festival starts on November 1st and runs till November 3rd, it was previously known as Patong Carnival.
The festival is held at Patong Beach and includes colourful street parades, fireworks, competitions such as beach volleyball and lots of food stalls.
Chinese New Year celebrations in Phuket are celebrated with two days of fireworks, colourful processions and dancing dragons along with other local entertainment.
A traditional way of sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year.
The festival is held from late January to mid February, head to Old Phuket Town for this celebration.
Phuket's first gay pride festival was in held in 1999 and was an instant hit with both the tourists and the locals.
It is one of the biggest festivals held in Phuket.
It is a flamboyant festival with a three day street party and competitions that are full of fun.
The Gay Pride Festival is held in April.
The Kings Cup Regatta is a famous international yachting event held in Phuket.
The regatta attracts some of the best yachtsmen and women from all over the world, it was first held in 1987 in honor of His Majesty's 60th birthday.
The King of Thailand was a noted boating enthusiast.
The regatta is the largest of the most popular sailing events in Southeast Asia. It is held on the December 5th.
For more information visit Phuket King's Cup Regatta website
The Laguna Triathlon attracts top class triathletes from all over the world.
The course consists of a gruelling 1.8km swim starting on the beach between the Dusit Laguna Resort and Laguna Beach Resort, a 55km bike ride and a 12km run.
If you are interested have a look at their website for further information.
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