Kong Khao ceremonies bring Songkran to close

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Deputy Mayor Banlue Kullavanijaya (left) opened the annual Kong Khao festival at Lan Po Public Park in Naklua.
Deputy Mayor Banlue Kullavanijaya (left) opened the annual Kong Khao festival at Lan Po Public Park in Naklua.

Pattaya’s Thai New Year season closed on a traditional note with the annual Kong Khao festival.

Deputy Mayor Banlue Kullavanijaya opened the April 20 event at Lan Po Public Park in Naklua.

The day started early with sports and games from 9 a.m., including sea boxing, slingshots, sepak takraw, checkers and chess.

Thanakrit Jainim won the adult team slingshot competition with Manit Luckitanon and Wirat Junsamuth next. In the General bracket, the winner was Boonma Usabai, followed by Chana Usabai and Suttiporn Phoon. First prize was 5,000 baht with 4,000 baht for second and 3,000 baht for third.

In the youth competition, Padipat Suksabai won the first-place 3,000 prize with Jakapob Tae winning 2,000 baht for second and Padipan Suksabai 1,000 baht for third.

Nightfall saw the spiritual side of the rice piling ceremony, with people dressed as devils and angels with a parade of the spirts who inspected all the piled-up food and treats.

Free food was followed by a prayer service before folk singer Arm Chutima and pop star Kong Huayrai took the stage for concerts.

The angels and devils also were out at Nongyai Temple where Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai oversaw the proceedings.

While smaller, the festival also featured singing and stage plays with plenty of food left for spirits and animals.

Spirits eat sacrificial offerings provided by local residences at Lan Pho Public Park Naklua.
Spirits eat sacrificial offerings provided by local residences at Lan Pho Public Park Naklua.
Angels showered the audience with petals.
Angels showered the audience with petals.
Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai oversaw the Khao Kong festival in Nongyai.
Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai oversaw the Khao Kong festival in Nongyai.
Cultural performances highlight the Wat Nongyai Kong Khao event.
Cultural performances highlight the Wat Nongyai Kong Khao event.
A young sharpshooter takes aim in the slingshot competition.
A young sharpshooter takes aim in the slingshot competition.
The target doesn’t stand a chance against this slingshot sharpshooter.
The target doesn’t stand a chance against this slingshot sharpshooter.
The Muay Talay competition if good for a lot of laughs.
The Muay Talay competition if good for a lot of laughs.
Muay Tub Jak, blindfolded boxing, gets the crowds’ spirits up.
Muay Tub Jak, blindfolded boxing, gets the crowds’ spirits up.
Winners and placers receive their awards from Nattapol Teerawuthworawej, Pattaya City’s director of Arts and Culture Promotion.
Winners and placers receive their awards from Nattapol Teerawuthworawej, Pattaya City’s director of Arts and Culture Promotion.