October 3, 2015
Tak Bat Devo Festival 2016 – A colourful and auspicious re-enactment of Buddha’s return to earth
When: 16th October 2016 (TBC)
Where: Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri on the top of Sakaekrang Mountain. Uthai Thani Province
The Tak Bat Devo Festival (translated as ‘offering food to Buddhist Monks’) commemorates Won Ok Phansa Day, which is possibly the most important religious day in the Thai calendar and celebrates the return of Lord Buddha from heaven. The event is a portrayal of his descent from heaven and an imitation of the scenes when he was greeted by his followers and disciples.
This ancient depiction of this most auspicious time in usually only held in the Central Provinces and usually held on high ground emphasizing the descent from heaven, the largest Festival is possibly that of Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri on the top of Sakaekrang Mountain.
On the day of the festival over 500 Thai Buddhist Monks, will leave from the pavilion that is at located at the pinnacle of the temple and descend the 449 steps in single file to receive offerings of a variety of food and fruit, from both local residents and visitors who travel from all over the Kingdom to witness this annual spectacular ceremony.
There are local folk plays and music performances through-out the day, with a vast selection of stalls selling all manner of local produce.
If you are going to the festivities do try to visit the temple and its multi-tiered roof pavilion, which houses a replica of Lord Buddha’s footprint and a large bronze bell built in the reign of King Rama V (1853-1910 King Chulalongkorn – The Great Reformer). It is said that visitors to the province who have not rung the sacred bell, have not truly seen the province.
Contact Details: TAT Call Centre 1672 TAT Uthai Thani Office Tel. +66 5651 4982
Celebrations across Thailand
Celebrations at this time of the year are conducted through-out Thailand, with a vast array of different, vibrant festivals that sit hand in hand, with the religious rites, to mark the occasion of the end of the Buddhist Lent; each has its own uniqueness and is known by many names. In Thailand’s south the people celebrate this most auspicious occasion with their very own festival of Chak Phra (Phum Pha Pa), while also in the south the people of Phatthalung Province, go mad with drums in the Phon Lak Phra Festival.
The north has its spiritual Tak Bat Devo Festival, featuring hundreds of Buddhist monks. The province of Sakon Nakhon features the amazing Wax Castle possession, while in the north east province of Nakhon Phanom you will find the dazzling Fire Boat Possession. Central Thailand offers you the chance to be part of the Lotus Flower Festival and in the Mae Hong Son Province, of North West Thailand you can be part of the uniquely Tai-Yai peoples event, that of the Chong Para Festival. Not forgetting throughout the Kingdom you can witness a whole host of Longboat races and Festivals
There is another two festivals similar to this event; Lak Phra and Tak Bat Thewo which is actually two events spread over two days and held in Songkhla Province. Southern Thailand, plus the far smaller ‘Tak Bat Thewo Rohana Fair‘ Wat Phutthawat in Kalasin Northeast Thailand.
The following day across the Kingdom, the 30 day Ritual of Krathin will begin, when monks will be offered new robes.
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