Background on the Kathu Carnival
The Kathu Carnival is a relatively new addition to the festival calendar in Phuket. 2012 is just the fourth year that the event has taken place. The purpose of the carnival is to celebrate the culture of the island. The focus is on local food and local traditions – it is a reminder that despite all the modernity around there are still some things that are uniquely Phuket. It is a chance for visitors and expats to mingle with the local Thais and celebrate the survival of the old ways. It is also another excuse to have a good time.
Location of the Kathu Carnival
Kathu is the district in Phuket that attracts the bulk of tourists – it includes both Patong and Kamala beach. It is located on the west of the island. The activities related to the festival will all be focused around Kathu market, one of the biggest markets on the island, which is located on Wichit Songkram Road – roughly half way between Patong and Phuket Town.
What to Expect at Kathu Festival 2012
The Kathu Carnival begins on Saturday 4 August 2012 and ends on Monday 6 August 2012. Festivities begin at 17:30 on the Saturday with a grand opening taking place at the Chinese Shrine – this is inside Kathu market. After the opening there will be a parade along Wichit Songkram Road. Apparently the sides of the road are going to be done up to create an image of how things looked in Phuket in the good old days. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is believed to have originated in Kathu so there will be a celebration of this as well. If previous carnivals are to go by there should be at least 5,000 visitors to the event – not bad for the low season. Most of the activities will occur in the late evenings and early night on the three dates and will include:
- Local food
- Vegetarian food
- Live music
- Traditional martial arts
- An exhibition of Phuket in bygone years
- A classic care exhibition
- Events to promote Phuket culture
- Display of traditional costumes
- Stalls selling traditional arts and crafts
- Stage shows
The Kathu Carnival is a fairly low key event, but this is what makes it charming.