Ko Si Chang celebrates three particularly interesting festivals. Songkhran is marked from April 17 to 19 with sandcastle-building, greasy-pole-climbing and an exorcism ritual for any islanders who have suffered unpleasant deaths over the previous year. At Visakha Puja, the full-moon day in May when Buddha’s birth, death and enlightenment are honoured, islanders process to the old palace with hand-crafted Chinese lanterns. And on September 20, Ko Si Chang honours its royal patron King Chulalongkorn’s birthday with a son et lumière in the palace grounds and a beauty contest staged entirely in costumes from the Chulalongkorn era.

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