Thailands annual events and festivals: Determined by the lunar calendar, so dates change from year to year, the provinces have their own local festivals to celebrate harvests of seasonal crops.

January: Chiang Mai Winter Fair.

Beauty pageants, kick boxing competitions, stalls selling a range of locally made goods and loud music make this an exciting event.

February: The River of Kings Festival. Ratchaworadit Pier, Bangkok.

Spectacular light and sound extravaganza in a grand theatrical production with a cast of more than 700 actors and actresses and two live elephants, depicting the history of Thailand.

February: Chiang Mai Flower Festival.

Beauty contests, handicraft sales, flower displays and a parade of sumptuously decorated floats take to the streets as Chiang Mai residents celebrate flower power.

February: Bangkok China Town Festival.

The area around Yaowarat road, known as Chinatown in Bangkok, comes alive to celebrate Chinese New Year the one kilometer stretch of road is decorated with flowers and Chinese lanterns, activities include the Golden Dragon Light and Sound Presentation, the International Dragon and Lion Parade, Chinese Food Stalls and Chinese Opera and cultural events.

March: Asean Barred Ground Dove Festival.

Dove lovers from across Thailand, and neighboring countries congregate at Khwan Muang Park, in Yala Province, to display their prize doves and take part in the dove cooing competition, which usually involves more than 1,400 participants.

April: Songkran Festival Nationwide.

The traditional Thai New Year usually falls around the 13th-19th local people pay homage to Buddha images, clean their homes, and sprinkle water on their elders to show respect.

April: Pattaya Festival.

Usually a week after the Songkran festivities in Bangkok, celebrated with parades, floats, beauty contests, food festivals, and a spectacular fireworks display.

May: Royal Ploughing Ceremony.

Presided over by the King and Queen at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, this ancient Brahmin festival marks the beginning of the rice-planting season

May: Visakha Bucha, Nationwide.

Marked by night-time processions of worshippers around almost every temple in the kingdom, this festival celebrates the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha.

May: Yasothon Rocket Festival.

Villagers from the northeastern province of Yasothon compete with each other to make the biggest, most explosive bamboo rockets during this annual rainmaking festival. Prizes are awarded for the rocket that reaches the highest trajectory.

July: Candle Festival.

Coinciding with Asalaha Bucha, this festival sees the streets of Ubon Ratchathani filled with processions of huge, beautifully carved beeswax candles, some of them several meters tall, that presented to local temples.

August 12th: Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. Nationwide.

Also marking Mothers Day in Thailand, the 12th of August see the towns and villages of the country festively decorated with lights and portraits of the Queen.

August: International Marathon at Songkla.

This international marathon is open to runners of all nationalities, the race is divided into five categories: 42.195 kms full marathon, 21.1 kms half marathon, 10.5 kms mini half marathon, 3 kms jog for health and 42.195 kms wheelchair race, from Muang District to Singha Nakorn District, Songkla Province.

August: International Mountain Bike Rally, Tak Province.

Local and international mountain bike races, biking tour through the nature and the forest plantation as part of the scheme to honor HRH, at Bhumibhol Dam, Tak Province

September: Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

This ten day Chinese festival in Phuket has become world-famous for the gory pictures of people impaling their faces and bodies with everything from swords, spears and even fish, apparently unable to feel pain, in a trance like state, the people of Chinese ancestry parade in the streets with the various arrays of sharp objects still protruding from their flesh, less gory are the beauty pageants, fairs and food stalls that line the streets of Phuket town.

September: Phichit Boat Races.

Though boat races take place in several towns along the Mekong River the spectacular annual rowing regatta in Phichit takes place on the Nan River, which runs through the provincial capital, low slung wooden boats rowed with great gusto to the hearty cheers of spectators make this an exciting day, Tha Luang Pier, Muang District, Pichit Province.

October: Wax Castle Festival, Sakon Nakhon.

The end of Buddhist Lent is marked by the people in northeast Thailand with the creation of miniature beeswax Buddhist temples and shrines, these (wax castles) help them to gain merit, which will determine their future rebirth, Sakon Nakhon, is one of the most spectacular grand wax festivals, there is also boat races and traditional north eastern cultural performances.

October: Chonburi Buffalo Races.

A chance for buffalos to do more than just plough fields as they compete in races and contests pitting the strength of man against that of his faithful farm animal.

October: Illuminated Boat Procession Festival, Nakan Phanom.

The festival reflects the culture of illuminated boat procession (the Loy Kratong Festival of the north eastern region) illuminated boat procession contest, alms giving and boat races along the Mekong River, Muang District, Nakan Phanom Province.

November: Loy Krathong, Nationwide.

River spirits are placated for another year with gifts of Krathongs floated on rivers, canals and lakes on the night of the full moon, made of banana leaves, and decorated with incense and candles, thousands of these beautiful boats light up the night.

November: Surin Elephant Roundup.

With tug-o-wars, demonstrations of logging skills, ancient warfare parades, and even games of football, the elephants of Surin entertain the crowds of visitors in this north eastern town.

November: River Kwai Bridge Week.

The River Kwai bridge, in Kanchanaburi, is the setting for this week-long festival featuring spectacular sound and light performances on the bridge, archaeological and historical exhibitions, plus vintage train rides.

November: Phimai Festival

Spectacular light and sound presentation under the theme of (Vimainatthakarn) depicts the glorious era of Khmer, Interpretation service is available in English, French and Japanese, cultural shows by a Thai classical dance group, local Thai classical dancing, and an historical exhibition, also Buddha image processions, Thailand’s Kings cup final round long-tailed boat race and a bike tour, at Phimai Historical Park, Phimai District, Nakornratchasima Province.

December 5th: Birthday of His Majesty the King. Nationwide.

Flags, lights and portraits of His Majesty the King adorn the streets and building of every town and village on the 5th December, the occasion is marked by a huge and spectacular fireworks display near the Grand Palace.

November: Phuket Kings Cup Regatta.

Southeast Asias leading regatta, held in the waters off the island of Phuket and starting on the first Saturday of the month, competitors come from around the world to take part in this annual event.