Sand Pagoda Festival highlights Songkran in local communities

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Residents from 9 Nong Plalai villages brought equipment, tools, and flowers to decorate their sand pagodas at Wat Nongkedyai.
Residents from 9 Nong Plalai villages brought equipment, tools, and flowers to decorate their sand pagodas at Wat Nongkedyai.

The Songkran holiday is celebrated in many communities with residents building sand pagodas at their local temples.

The Sand Pagoda Festival has been a religious tradition in the Thai culture for centuries. It’s usually held during the Thai New Year and highlights teamwork by residents who work together to build the pagodas.

Nongprue Sub-district residents and employees enjoy the Songkran holiday by building sand pagodas at Suttawas Temple.
Nongprue Sub-district residents and employees enjoy the Songkran holiday by building sand pagodas at Suttawas Temple.

In the course of a year, a lot of sand is taken away from temples on the bottom of people’s shoes. So once a year, local people are invited to bring back some of the sand and use it to create pagodas to be used in religious ceremonies.

The sand pagodas are decorated with materials commonly found in the community, like colorful flowers, bamboo twigs and hardened powder.

Tradition says such activities bring civility to villages, the community and surrounding areas. The day is also celebrated as family reunion day with family members and close relatives getting together to join the sand-building.

Families gather at Khao Sao Thong Thong Temple in Nongprue Sub-district to assemble their sand pagoda and keep up Thai tradition.
Families gather at Khao Sao Thong Thong Temple in Nongprue Sub-district to assemble their sand pagoda and keep up Thai tradition.