The Chingay Festival is celebrated every year during late February or March, during the wet season in Singapore. It is one of the major traditional festivals of Singapore and attracts tourists from far and wide. It is characterized by a festival-like atmosphere, with local dances and food being the main attractions. The festival includes the display of beautifully decorated costumes, athletic competitions, cultural displays, cultural events and games.
The Chingay Festival celebrates the life of the indigenous Malay people of Singapore, as well as their culture. The Chingay Festival is also known as New Year Festival. On this day, the people of Singapore are said to have great respect for the elderly, as the old people are believed to have performed a miracle to bring prosperity into their lives. This festival marks the end of the old year, when the young begin to live in the new year. Many traditions and customs continue on throughout the year, which are celebrated with great excitement and pride by the people of Singapore.
During the Chingay Festival, many events take place across the country and even abroad. For example, there is the Penang State Fair, held at the end of February or beginning of March. Here, people can indulge in horse riding, which is one of the major attractions. Horse riding is one of the most famous sports here. However, it is not possible for the spectators to participate in the sport; so, they just watch quietly.
There are also numerous cultural events taking place here. One of these is the Ong Kei Culture Festival, which is celebrated between April and May. Local artists and craftsmen organize this festival to share the rich Ong Kei heritage of Singapore. This festival is really a grand affair, with local musicians and dancers performing on an extravagant stage.
Other local festivals include the Songkran Festival, which is celebrated between the two halves of the year. A series of festivals take place, highlighting different aspects of Songkran. For instance, there are the Khum Na and Banyan Party, which take place during the middle of July. These two parties usually include a lot of traditional food, such as Bauhin Mass, Sweaty Drinks, and of course, music. Many tourists also join in the festivities.
The Night Market is another good place to enjoy a taste of traditional Asian foods. This is held in early August or early September. In the Night Market, you will find a wide variety of local products and goods, including handicrafts, Chinese figurines, metal wares, and clothes. There are also traditional Chinese foods, which are widely displayed in the marketplace.
Theng Khom, also known as The Festival of Light, normally falls in November. It celebrates the return of the half-year shadows. A series of special events take place in the area, which include boat races, martial arts exhibitions, and fire displays. Tourists from all over the world join in the celebrations. If you want to experience the excitement and the atmosphere, this is the best time to visit Phuket, Thailand.
Although the above-mentioned festivals are all important, there are also other festivals that happen at regular intervals. For instance, the Songkran Festival, which is celebrated between April and May. This is the time of year when Phuket becomes most attractive and the best time to visit Phuket. Other festivals include the Khao San (which is Thai New Year) and the Devi’s Day Festival.
While all the festivals mentioned above are important, the Songkran Festival is perhaps the biggest draw. It marks the return of what is known as the “fountain of youth”. Legend has it that the Buddha was once tending the rice fields and fell into meditation. Upon awakening, he decided to abandon his worldly desires and return to the earth. With the help of his monks, he brought back four years later, an extremely skinny and weak man. However, he was determined to return to a more healthy and fit man to the society, so he went on to teach people about this extraordinary event.
While the legend is true, the actual date of this festival is not known. Some say it happened around 500 BC, while others place the festival around 401 BC. Either way, the story behind the festival is equally interesting. Legend has it that the monks gave away all their possessions, except for one small item, which they kept with them for ten years. When they finally returned, it was the item which had spurred the legend of the festival.
No matter what you believe, the chingay festival in Thailand is without doubt a huge deal. In Bangkok alone during the month of November, over fifty million visitors participate. The high popularity of the festival has spawned dozens of special celebrations, complete with colorful decorations, street celebrations, street musicians and live music. With so much going on at this unique event, it’s no wonder that the number of foreign tourists who regularly attend this truly unique celebration has steadily increased.