Songkran comes to quiet close in Naklua, Nong Yai with Kong Khao festival

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Area residents bid farewell to the year’s Songkran festivities with traditional rice festivals and “Kong Khao” ceremonies in Naklua and Nong Yai.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome was the master of ceremonies at Lan Po Park in Naklua as locals and tourists gathered for games and sports. Events included slingshot contests, takraw hoops, sea boxing, pole-climbing and other activities.

At 6:30 p.m., residents dressed as angels and fairies to parade around the neighborhood, followed by a few dressed as devils to represent fear, hungry for meat and desserts people put out according to ancient traditions. Offerings of meat and sweets were made out of belief that giving to the spirits without relatives is to make merit and prosperity for oneself and family.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads city officials in saying prayers at the beginning of the ceremonies.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome leads city officials in saying prayers at the beginning of the ceremonies.

The day wrapped up with a concert by Pim C-For and Phai Pongsathorn.

At Nong Yai Temple, MP Poramet Ngampichet presided at a venue decorated in colored lights and paper flags. Children and local residents put on stage performances.

Another angels and devils parade followed, with some water spraying before festival-goers enjoyed dinner and dancing.

After a manic 10 days of Songkran water-fighting, the Kong Khao festival is a polite, traditional way to herald the start of the Thai New Year. Thais believe it will ward off evil spirits and the song, dance and good feelings will usher in a year of prosperity and good luck.

A future star performs for the Nongyai community.A future star performs for the Nongyai community.

Learning early how to line dance in public.Learning early how to line dance in public.

Taking aim in the slingshots competition.Taking aim in the slingshots competition.

Angels and fairies parade, spraying water on residents.Angels and fairies parade, spraying water on residents.

Actors give an amazing Kanhachalee performance from ancient Thai literature.Actors give an amazing Kanhachalee performance from ancient Thai literature.

Phai Pongsathon is always a crowd favorite.Phai Pongsathon is always a crowd favorite.

For a fee, throw a bean bag at a target - hit it and the girl drops into the water.For a fee, throw a bean bag at a target – hit it and the girl drops into the water.

Pim C-Four wows the crowd with her performance.Pim C-Four wows the crowd with her performance.

Seaside boxing is loads of fun for spectators.Seaside boxing is loads of fun for spectators.

The devils take their turn, collecting meats and sweets from the crowd.The devils take their turn, collecting meats and sweets from the crowd.

Residents bringing meat, sweets, and beverages to celebrate the Rice Festival.Residents bringing meat, sweets, and beverages to celebrate the Rice Festival.

Students from Pattaya School #9 give a great performance.Students from Pattaya School #9 give a great performance.

Youngsters climb greased poles, trying to collect the cash at the top.Youngsters climb greased poles, trying to collect the cash at the top.