A big part of the fun of living in Phuket or coming to the island as a tourist is being able to experience the local life of Phuket. While staying with us at Santosa, there will be plenty of opportunities to experience the local life by attending some of Phuket’s most iconic festivals.
February is a wonderful time to visit Santosa. The weather is beautiful and the sea is calm. In addition, the island celebrates Chinese New Year, the Phuket Old Town Festival and the Chalong Temple Fair all in the space of a few subsequent days. These festivals are all important to the island’s Chinese heritage, and it’s wonderful to see the island come alive with red, glowing lanterns, parades, fireworks and even a Chinese Dragon Dance! The Chalong Temple Fair is the largest of all of the temple markets in Phuket, and it is quite special. Here you can sample a variety of local foods, buy virtually anything and watch a handful of interesting Thai cultural shows and live music.
Another important festival to Phuket’s history happens in March in the north of the island. Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival is one of the island’s largest, most important festivals and features many cultural and sporting activities. This is a family friendly festival that celebrates the victory over the invading Burmese army led by Phuket’s two heroine sisters, Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Suntorn.
April is without a doubt the hottest time of the year in Phuket and all of Thailand. Even so, it is a lovely time to visit Santosa and take part in a relaxing yoga retreat or detox program. April is also the time of the year when Thailand celebrates Thai New Year. Known as Songkran, the Thai New Year is loud and full of fun. Be prepared to get wet as there is a lot of water throwing that goes on in the streets. Songkran is a lovely time at Santosa, and with our close proximity to Kata Beach, you are sure not to miss out on any of the fun!
June brings the low season to Phuket, and it’s actually our favorite time of the year. While rain can be expected during this time of the year, we sure don’t mind. The rain nurtures all of the plants and trees surrounding Santosa, turning it into a lovely tropical oasis. If you are a runner, June is the month of marathons in Phuket and in the Old Town, the ever so lovely Baba (Peranakan) Wedding Festival is celebrated. This is such a beautiful event. Essentially, it is a mass wedding that is rooted in the traditions of days gone by. Baba (Peranakan) Wedding Festival features a gorgeous cultural parade as well that is great for taking photos.
The Kathu Festival takes place in July and is an interesting event. It takes place in the sleepy village of Kathu and features street stalls, food vendors, stage shows, live music and exhibitions. Thai traditional games are put on display and also played. If you are staying at Santosa in July, grab some of the new friends you’ve made and definitely head on over to this festival.
In September, the island’s Chinese heritage once again comes alive as Phuket celebrates the Por Tor Festival. This festival, known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, is an important merit-making event for Phuket’s ethnic Chinese. Special foods, flowers and candles are offered to ancestors on altars. Por Tor Festival is a truly beautiful event and gives insight into some of the special festivals celebrated by the local Thai-Chinese community.
Phuket’s most famous festival takes place in October this year, and it is one that you definitely do not want to miss. If you are looking to stay at Santosa for one of our health & wellness programs, we highly suggest you come in October so that you can witness the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival takes place in the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and celebrates the Chinese community’s belief that abstinence from meat and a variety of other stimulants will help in obtaining good health and peace of mind. Phuket Vegetarian Festival is celebrated at all Chinese shrines across Phuket and features ceremonies, street processions and a large variety of delicious vegetarian food to be sampled throughout the 9-day event.
One of our most favorite Thai festivals takes place in November. It is a festival of quiet celebration called Loy Krathong. It is festival that takes place near all water bodies, whether it be the ocean, a canal or lake, as it honors the water goddess. People float lanterns in the sky and krathongs across the waterways as an offering and to float all bad misfortune away from you in the coming year. Loy Krathong is really beautiful, and it is wondrous to watch all of the lanterns floating above Kata from Santosa Vegan Restaurant.
In December we celebrate the Christmas season and look forward to the New Year. For all of us at Santosa, this is one of the best times of the year as we reflect upon the year that is almost complete and look forward to the year the will come. We celebrate the Christmas season with a colorful, delicious vegan Christmas dinner menu and we also have a special New Year party.
Celebrate Phuket’s Unique Cultural and Historical Festivals with Santosa while you are celebrating yourself. Invest in yourself and your health at Santosa, and depending upon which time of the year you decide to come, you can experience some interesting fun in Phuket as well. For more information, simply fill out the inquiry form below.