There are countless festivals and special events held in Pattaya throughout the year. Some of these are celebrated nationwide; e.g. Songkran and Loy Krathong. Listed below are some of the best-known annual Pattaya festivals and special events.
New Year’s Day. The International New Year Day has been adopted. On the first of January, people offer food to monks at the temple or at a particular site designated by government offices of private organizations.
Chinese New Year (varies from late January to early February) is celebrated by Pattaya’s large Thai-Chinese community with dragon parades, lion dances, and fireworks.
Burapa Pattaya Bike Week is Thailand’s, and one of south-east Asia’s, biggest motorcycle event held in Pattaya each February, drawing motorcycle enthusiasts from all over south-east Asia and abroad. The 2010 event was held over two days with local and international live music acts.
Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of March. It attracts huge crowds to the different stages along Beach Road and Bali Hai Pier, and presents several styles of music performed by Thai and international artists.
The Pattaya Songkran festival, locally called Wan Lai, takes place each year in mid-April. It differs from most other Songkran festivals of Thailand in several aspects. It lasts several days longer and, besides water fights, the event includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks, and water sports competitions.
Top of the Gulf Regatta is a week-long sailing event held at the end of April, beginning of May.
The Miss Tiffany Universe beauty pageant is held mid-May each year. During the four-day pageant, Thailand’s most beautiful transgender persons and transsexuals vie for first place with the final evening broadcast live on Thai TV for an audience of, on average, 15 million.
Pattaya Marathon, featuring several race categories, is held each year in July.
Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival, held annually on the last weekend of October, organized by the Thailand Guitar Society, Pattaya People Media Group, and Siam Bayshore Pattaya.
Loi Krathong, a light festival held during the full moon of the twelfth month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar and which usually falls in November, is celebrated in Pattaya, as in the rest of the country, that evening with people floating krathongs (small, candle-lit floats made from elaborately folded banana leaves) on the waters, as well as releasing khom loi (candle-fired hot air balloons) into the night sky.
Every November Pattaya hosts Miss International Queen, a yearly international pageant for transgender persons and transsexuals. In 2007 the event drew an estimated 25 million viewers on national TV.