Tourists are invitedto experience this year’s ‘Aquatic Phansa Festival at KhlongLatChado’ that will take place in Ayutthaya on Wednesday, 13 July (also AsalhaBucha Day), in celebration of KhaoPhansa.
KhaoPhansa, the first day of Buddhist Lent (vassavasa) takes place the day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month and marks the start of the rainy season when monks retreat to their temples and spend three months in study and meditation. This retreat to the temples is based on an edict of Lord Buddha issued to ensure monks did not damage crops or accidentally stand on insects hidden in the floodwaters. This year’s Buddhist Lent period starts on Thursday, 14 July, and ends on Monday, 10 October.
In marking such a special and spiritual occasion, the people of Ban LatChado in PhakHai District of Ayutthaya together with the TAT Ayutthaya Office warmly welcome all to visit the 11th Aquatic Phansa Festival at KhlongLatChado, or the 11th LatChado Candle Parade Festival, with the day’s programme set to begin at 09.00 Hrs.
The festival procession here takes place along KhlongLatChado with the candles transported by local boats and decorated with flowers. Full of culture and heritage, the event is an opportunity to see the local way of life along the waterway and the picturesque Thai countryside. There will also be an exhibition of photos on the LatChado people’s lifestyle, and local food and retro market products on sale at the LatChado Market.
At the centre of this popular annual festival which is celebrated in various locations across Thailand are elaborately carved candles, which are paraded in colourful processions on their way to temples. Traditionally, candles were donated to temples, so monks could continue their studying into the evening; today the candles accompanied in their procession by a vibrant mix of local dances, music and other festivities are a popular sight for tourists and locals alike to watch.
For more information, contact the TAT Ayutthaya Office on Tel. +66 (0) 3524 6076, or e-mail: [email protected].
Elsewhere in Thailand, the UbonRatchathani Candle Festival is another popular event marking the start of the three-month Buddhist Lent period, and is a longstanding tradition in the Northeastern (Isan) city of UbonRatchathani. This year, this is scheduled for 11-17 July, and will be centredaroundThung Sri Mueang, a public park located in the heart of the city. A showcase of Isan culture and heritage, there will be dance, music and intricately carved candle sculptures to be paraded through town. For more details, see: Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival 2022 set to wow visitors, or contact the TAT UbonRatchathani Office on Tel. +66 (0) 4524 3770; +66 (0) 4525 0714, or e-mail: [email protected].
Other candle processions held around Thailand for KhaoPhansa include those in Chiang Mai and NakhonRatchasima. (TAT)