Thailand is just about to enter the green season, when harvest is at its peak. The official start of the season begins with Khao Phansa, the first day of Buddhist Lent. Khao Phansa marks a time when monks traditionally retreat to their temples, or wats, for three months to study and meditate.
Khao Phansa Day- which falls on the full moon of the eighth lunar month on the Thai calendar- is a special celebration. This year, it falls on July 28th, though many celebratory festivals extend throughout the end of the month.
Here’s a rundown of TAT’s favorite places to celebrate Khao Phansa 2018:
Ubon Ratchathani International Candle Festival
When: July 23rd to 28th, 2018
Where: Thung Si Mueang Park, Ubon Ratchathani City
This festival is the oldest and the biggest in Thailand. Professional art teams from all over the world travel to compete in creating huge, detailed wax artworks that serve as offerings. Unique local cultural elements like traditional dress and folk dances shine throughout the candle procession.
Nakhon Ratchasima Candle Festival and Parade
When: July 26th to 28th, 2018
Where: Thao Suranari Monument, Mueang Korat
This festival has a candle-making contest, with a candle parade showcasing exquisitely carved candles. In the past, the candles have told the story of Buddha, the projects of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the many historical attractions of Nakhon Ratchasima. The parade is paired with Khon, a traditional masked dance performance.
Ayutthaya Aquatic Phansa Festival
When: July 28th, 2018
Where: Lad Chado Market, Ayutthaya
The ancient capital Ayutthaya has a unique way of celebrating Khao Phansa: over 200 colorful boats float down the Lad Chado canal, dropping off candles at temples. There is also a Miss Lad Chado pageant, and many local games along the canal.
What are your plans for Khao Phansa? To find more what’s on during Khao Phansa and where, click here.
If you head to any of these celebrations, spread your adventure on social media and tag TAT with #ThailandInsider.