The
Complete
Year

There are a large number of events and festivals in Nong Khai Town throughout the year.

What follows is a snapshot summary for each of the more important ones, telling you its date how long it lasts. The dates given are the best we know... do bear in mind that they frequently change from year to year with the Buddhist lunar calendar, and sometimes we are given inaccurate information...

For more detailed information on each one, simply click on its photograph or title.


Chinese New Year
28th January



There is a large Chinese and Vietnamese population in Nong Khai, many of whom settled here after the communist revolutions in Laos and Vietnam. For them Chinese New Year, or Tet as the Vietnamese call it, is one of the most important holidays of the year. This year it will be on Saturday, 28th of January 2017.

 

Makha Bucha Day
11th of February



Makha Bucha Day celebrates the time that 1250 monks came to welcome the Lord Buddha on the first ever assembly of a large number of ordained monks. At this time the Lord Buddha presented Buddhist monks with a constitution known as the Owata Patimok which is still in force today.

This year Makha Bucha day will be on Saturday, 11th of February 2017. This is one of the most important Buddhist holidays, which is marked by "Wian Tian" or the walking round the temple three times with a lighted candle. On the first round one thinks of the Lord Buddha, the second one thinks of his teachings and on the third one thinks of the monks who devote their lives to the practice of Buddhism.

 

The Anou Savari Festival
5th to 15th March



The Anou Savari Festival is a large street fair and festival unique to Nong Khai and is to celebrate the ending of the "Hau" rebellions in the 1880's. This year it takes place from the 5th to the 15th of March 2017.

Julian and Pao's House was built for the favourite mistress of Khun Prajak Silapagorn who ended the Hor Rebellions in the 1880's. He placed his mistress here in our house which he had built for her to watch the people coming across the border and report to him any impending insurgency.

 

Song Kran
12th to 15th April



Song Kran is the Thai new year, which, just to confuse you, takes place from the 12th to the 15th of April 2017. The actual new year's day is Thursday, 13th of April. Nong Khai is one of the government sponsored sites for Song Kran, also known as the water festival, when everything and everyone gets splashed. Traditionally it was the day that Buddha images were cleaned.

 


Rocket Festivals
10th of May



Rocket Festivals take place in May, June, and sometimes July. Traditionally, these enormous rockets are sent up during the day time to encourage the clouds to water the paddy fields. One of the biggest starts on Visakha Puja day (Buddha's birth and enlightenment day) here in Nong Khai. The first day is marked by a magnificent parade (no rockets are fired on holy days) and subsequent days see nearly a hundred blast offs. This year Visakha Puja day will be on Wednesday, 10th of May 2017 and the festival goes on for about a week.

 


The Candle Festival
8th July



The annual Candle Festival is a beautiful street parade which takes place on the day before the beginning of Buddhist Lent. Huge candles are built in the grounds of Wat Chayaporn on the days prior to the festival. On the day of the festival they are paraded on floats through the streets, accompanied by dancing girls, boys in their traditional Siamese costumes and middle aged devotees in their white robes. This year the the Candle Festival will take place on Saturday, 8th July 2017.

 


Rowing Festivals
Throughout September


Rowing practice, for the young lads from the parishes of the riverbank temples, starts when the first (and holiest) three weeks of Buddhist Lent (Paan Saa) are over. The Rowing Festivals take place on the Maekong river, with a crew numbering around 55. There will be events during the month of September.

 


The Maekong Fireballs
5th October



The strange appearance of the Maekong Fireballs takes place on the last night of Buddhist Lent. Visible from several points along the river bank, the most famous place to see them, where sightings are reputedly most numerous, is at Phon Phisai, 40 km to the east of Nong Khai town. These strange pink objects, which arise noiselessly from the river after dusk, are visible on this night only, which this year will be on Thursday, 5th of October 2017. The festival surrounding this event will last from the 3rd to the 7th of October.

 


The Chinese Dragon Festival
October-November



What should more properly be called the Chinese Ceremonial Lion Festival, will take place during late October and early November 2017. A wonderful display of dancing Chinese lions, climbing greasy bamboo poles, drums and parades... each Chinese business in town is blessed for the coming year. The main procession will be on the first day. Festivities continue for around ten days. On the last day there is a closing ceremony in the afternoon.

 


Loy Kratong
3rd of November



The second most important festival in the Thai calendar, is the placing of Kratong... small floating shrines made of bamboo leaves ...on water as a blessing and to ask for luck for the coming year. As Nong Khai is on the Maekong river, this is extra special here. This year Loy Kratong will take place on Friday, 3rd of November 2017.



Nong Khai Marathon
Mid December



The Nong Khai Marathon will take place during mid December 2017, starting at 01.30 hrs in the morning. There will be a full marathon, half and quater marathon and a fun run. All are invited to register and join in.

 


Christmas 24th December
& New Year 31st December



Mut Mee will hold a large Christmas party on Christmas Eve, Sunday, 24th of December 2017. This is a large buffet where we support local schools with a local cultural performance of traditional mime and dance. For New Year we will organise a big barbecue down on the river bank with items suitable for both carnivores and vegetarians on the night of the Sunday, 31st of December 2017.