Today, a nearby temple has a party to gild a Buddha with gold leaf. It's a very solemn ceremony as you can imagine, ...not!. It has food, entertainment, music, dancing... For the temple, they host a fund raising party with music and a show, and stalls, food, a market, and games. For the people they enjoy the party and help the temple financially. This is how temple life works, the donations to the temple are not compulsory, the temple is part of the community and it forms a social center around which we can meet and enjoy life. You donate because the social aspect is important.
This temple in Phuket is holding a party with a spiritual side of prayer and ceremonies like gilding the Buddha statues with gold foil, and lighting candles, and a sand mound. I'm not sure what the mound represents, I stuck the flag in it like everyone else, did my prayers and pushed the sand up to the peak three times, like everyone else. I'm sure it has deep significance, but I don't know what it is. Around that the festival is held.
Each temple has its traditions, but its all ultimately about the social hub. A good opportunity for young and old to interact, and for the traditions to be passed on.