Discover The Bright Candle Festival of Thailand
Would you like to know the local culture when you travel to Thailand? Then you must go beyond the cityscape of Bangkok and visit the Thai countryside. The famous candle festival is such a speciality of Thailand hosted in Ubon Ratchathani.
Discover The Candle Festival:
Ubon Ratchathani is one of the famous cities of north-eastern Thailand. Every year in July, at the genesis of Buddhist Lent, the famous candle festival is hosted by this city. This is one of the biggest festivals in the region. Some vast candles with detailed sculptures are paraded all around the city on Khao Phansa Day (beginning of Buddhist Lent). This culture of candle festival portrays the Thai’s devotion towards Buddhist tradition. Also, some days before the festival, the process of making the candles can be seen in the temples. People from different parts of the country, different states and different temples participate in this parade with their fancy carved candles. Often these wax structures are 20 meters long featuring some stories from Buddhist or Hindu Mythology.
Along with this massive candle parade, you will also get to see some amazing exhibitions of Thai crafts made by local people. Dashingly dressed women and men with sun hats raise the rhythm of huge drums and dance beautifully. Like any other Thai festival, a variety of delicious food can be found in this festival. Especially Ubon’s exclusive fiery isan dishes such as laap ped and tom saep are must-try food.
This illuminating candle festival has come from an old tradition of Buddhism. During the old days, people used to give a bunch of candles and other necessities to Buddhist monks for these three months of Lent. Along with time, the candles developed more huge and elaborately structured. In the monarchy of King Rama V in the 19th century, this tradition turned into a massive festival. In some places of Thailand, this ritual has turned into a friendly match of creating larger and more beautiful candles for donation.
This candle festival represents the main religion of Thailand- Theravada Buddhism. The first day of this festival celebrates Buddha’s first explanation of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism to his main five disciples. The second day of Khao Phansa is the starting of the Buddhist Lent or “Vassavasa”. During these three months, the monks recline in the temples based on the donations, food and gifts received every morning.
Asahna Bucha and Khao Phansa: –
The candle festival of Ubon Ratchathani incorporates two significant occasions of Buddhists- Asahna Bucha and Khao Phansa. Every year the date of Asahna Bucha varies according to the Lunar Calendar yet, it occurs during July. Asahna Bucha celebrates the date of Lord Buddha’s first speech in Benaras, India. The next day is referred to as Wan Khao Phansa. On this day the ‘three months Phansa rain retreat period’ starts in Thailand. This period is also called ‘Buddhist Lent’.
How Can Tourists Attend This Festival: –
In the attraction of the bright colours and amazing music, every year several tourists come to Thailand in the time of Ubon Ratchathani candle festival. You can find the young monks chanting harmoniously. But to experience this exceptional incident you must dress elegantly and avoid wearing any dress beneath the knees. On the evening of Asahna Bucha, you can see several cultural shows and exhibitions around the parks. On the next morning, the parade starts around 8 a.m. and continues for at least 3 hours. To visit this whole carnival you must reach the grandstand at least an hour before the parade starts. You can get detailed information about this festival at the office of Tourism Authority of Thailand on Kuan Thani Road. Before this parade, you can explore the city temples and hire a guide to answer your queries.
Accommodation At Ubon Ratchathani:
Every year a lot of tourists visit Ubon Ratchathani for this great festival. You can easily book flights from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani and hotels are also easily available before a couple of months. Also, try to stay near the venue if you don’t have personal transport. Some famous hotels in this place are Sunee Grand Hotel, Arista Hotel, The Bliss Ubon, Yuu Hotel and Cafe.
Ubon Ratchathani candle festival is all about colourful lights, harmonizing music, flavoursome food and a grand procession to enjoy. ? You must experience these whenever you are coming to Thailand!