Claudina Fitzpatrick

Written by Claudina Fitzpatrick

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Monkey Buffet Festival is a vibrant and unique event that takes place every year in the city of Lopburi, Thailand. This whimsical festival has gained worldwide attention for its fascinating mix of culture, tradition, and of course, monkeys! During the festival, the local community prepares a sumptuous feast made entirely of fruits, vegetables, and other treats for the resident monkeys to enjoy.

Known as the “Monkey City,” Lopburi is home to hundreds of monkeys that roam freely in the streets, temples, and markets of the town. The Monkey Buffet Festival is not only a way to pay homage to these mischievous creatures but also a way to promote tourism and raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

In this article, we will delve into 19 fascinating facts about the Monkey Buffet Festival, giving you a deeper understanding of this one-of-a-kind event and why it attracts visitors from all over the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Monkey Buffet Festival in Thailand is a colorful and lively event where thousands of monkeys are treated to a feast, showcasing their talents and bringing joy to visitors from around the world.
  • The festival not only celebrates the monkey deity but also raises awareness about primate conservation. It’s a unique and family-friendly experience that supports local businesses and charities.
Table of Contents

A Feast Fit for Monkeys

The Monkey Buffet Festival is a grand feast prepared specifically for monkeys. Over 4,000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, and other treats are laid out on long tables for the intelligent primates to enjoy.

Honoring Monkey Deities

The festival is held in honor of Rama, a monkey deity revered in Hindu mythology. Locals believe that by feeding the monkeys, they will receive blessings and good luck.

A Colorful Affair

The festival is a visual treat with a riot of colors. The tables are adorned with bright decorations and offerings of flowers, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.

An Ancient Tradition

The Monkey Buffet Festival has been celebrated for over three decades. It was first initiated in 1989 as a small event and has since grown into an internationally renowned festival.

Thousands of Monkeys Attend

As the name suggests, the festival attracts thousands of monkeys. Lopburi, the host city, is home to numerous macaque monkeys that eagerly participate in the feast.

Unique Monkey Performances

The festival features various monkey performances, including shows where monkeys showcase their agility, intelligence, and comedic skills, entertaining the audience with their playful antics.

A Photographer’s Paradise

For photography enthusiasts, the Monkey Buffet Festival offers incredible opportunities to capture delightful moments of monkeys feasting and engaging in playful activities.

A Tourist Attraction

The festival has gained popularity among tourists from around the world, attracting visitors who are fascinated by the cultural significance and the spectacle of the event.

Local Businesses Benefit

The Monkey Buffet Festival has become a significant boost to the local economy with an increase in tourism. Hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops thrive during the festival period.

Primate Conservation Awareness

The festival also serves as a platform to raise awareness about primate conservation. Organizers use the event to educate visitors about the challenges faced by monkeys and the importance of protecting their natural habitats.

Monkey Mask Parade

One of the highlights of the festival is the monkey mask parade, where locals and participants don colorful monkey masks and costumes, adding to the festive and vibrant atmosphere.

Offering Prayers

During the festival, locals and visitors pay homage to the monkey deities by offering prayers and making wishes for good fortune and prosperity.

Delicious Monkey-Themed Dishes

Visitors can indulge in a variety of monkey-themed culinary delights, ranging from monkey-shaped cookies to banana-infused desserts, showcasing the creativity of local chefs.

Cultural Performances

Aside from the monkey-related activities, the festival also showcases traditional Thai cultural performances, allowing visitors to experience the rich heritage of the region.

Monkey Idol Contest

A unique aspect of the festival is the Monkey Idol Contest, where monkeys showcase their talent in singing and dancing, much to the delight of the audience.

International Media Coverage

The Monkey Buffet Festival has garnered significant attention from international media outlets, who are captivated by the extraordinary sight of thousands of monkeys participating in the feast.

Supporting Local Charities

Proceeds from the festival go towards supporting local charities and organizations dedicated to wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

Joyful Family Event

The Monkey Buffet Festival is a family-friendly event, attracting people of all ages who come together to enjoy the festivities and witness this unique cultural spectacle.

An Unforgettable Experience

Attending the Monkey Buffet Festival is an unforgettable experience that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Thailand and the fascinating world of these intelligent and mischievous primates.


The Monkey Buffet Festival is a truly unique and fascinating event that showcases the vibrant and playful spirit of the local monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand. From the extravagant feast to the colorful costumes and performances, this festival has become a must-see attraction for locals and tourists alike. As visitors immerse themselves in the festivities, they not only get to witness the incredible agility and intelligence of the monkeys but also gain a deeper appreciation for the local culture and its timeless connection with nature.

Whether it’s the sight of thousands of monkeys enjoying a grand feast or the opportunity to capture unforgettable moments, the Monkey Buffet Festival offers a one-of-a-kind experience that shouldn’t be missed. Make sure to mark your calendar and prepare for an unforgettable adventure filled with joy, laughter, and memorable encounters with these mischievous creatures.


1. When is the Monkey Buffet Festival held?

The Monkey Buffet Festival is typically held on the last Sunday of November every year.

2. Where does the festival take place?

The festival takes place in the city of Lopburi, located in central Thailand.

3. How did the Monkey Buffet Festival originate?

The festival originated as a way for locals to thank the monkeys for bringing prosperity to the city and to promote tourism.

4. Are the monkeys wild or trained?

The monkeys are wild, but they have become accustomed to the presence of humans and are comfortable interacting with them.

5. Is the festival safe for visitors?

Yes, the festival organizers take measures to ensure the safety of the visitors. However, it is important to follow the instructions given by the authorities and avoid provoking the monkeys.

The Monkey Buffet Festival is a fascinating celebration of our primate cousins, but there's more to explore in the world of cultural events. Discover the vibrant Cultural Festivals and events that bring Wheaton, Illinois to life, each with its own unique traditions and delights.

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