Chonburi’s annual Buffalo Racing Festival (ประเพณีวิ่งควาย 2561) in front of the city hall is one of most exciting events held at the end of Buddhist Lent, with a tradition that dates back more than 140 years. This year the festival takes place from 18-24 October 2018. The buffalo racing takes place on 23rd October. The festival celebrates the high status buffalos enjoy as the uniquely Thai icon of Thailand’s agriculture and rural way of life. It also gives local people the chance to come together and enjoy fun and good food.
Schedule on 23rd October:
7:00 a.m. Parade of 13 buffaloes through Chonburi town
10:00 a.m. Opening ceremony at the race track in front of the City Hall
10:00 a.m. Buffalo racing
The buffaloes race in three classes based on size, as trainers lovingly place their steeds on strict training and diet regimes in the months leading up to the competition. Thai buffaloes are often stereotyped as slow lumbering beasts; however, many visitors are surprised how fast they can run. It takes a very agile (and light) jockey to hang on for dear life and guide their beloved beasts along an often muddy 100-meter track to victory. Other quirky highlights at the Buffalo Racing Festival include a ‘Ms Buffalo’ beauty pageant for the most attractive and ‘best dressed’, which lends to a carnival-like atmosphere of rides, concerts and food-a-plenty.