From the Blog

February 18, 2016

Thai Lue Cultural Festival

Thai Lue Cultural Festival (งานสืบสานตำนานไทลื้อ) When an ancient people have the opportunity to show case their heritage


Thai Lue Cultural Festival 2016


When: Annually beginning of March

Where: Wat Phrathat Sop Waen, Amphoe Chiang Kham. Phayao Province Northern Thailand


A Little on the Thai Lue people

The Tai Lü people (Thai: ไทลื้อ or Thai Lue) are an ethnic group originally from what is now China, who also live in Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam. 2001 figures show there to be 83,000 Tai Lue in Thailand, living in the main in Northern Provinces of NanChiang RaiPhayao and Chiang Mai ). The people speak a Southwestern Tai language and are one of the oldest ethnic groups that call the Kingdom home.

The Tai Lue have one of the oldest recorded histories of any ethnic group in Thailand, with the first recorded Lue kingdom being formed in Yunnan in 1180 and included part of what is today China, Lao and Burma. History also has it that the mother of King Mengrai (1238–1317) the first king of the kingdom of Lanna in Chiang Mai and northern Thailand was a Tai Lue..

For more on these people see our post Thai Lue of Thailand


Thai Lue Cultural Festival

 The Festival

This annual event is for these proud people to show case their history, culture and beliefs. The festival is awash with colour and song and includes a parade and various cultural demonstrations, including the dangerous game of ‘Diu bao’ which literally means “throwing ball”

The Game of  Diu bao

The ball is diamond shaped, filled with cotton and has coloured fringes, the idea of the game is that two equal rows of boys and girls face each other and begin gently throwing the ball to one another. It does not sound that dangerous does it?

Any person who drops the ball must offer a fresh flower to the thrower of the opposite sex as a form of apology, all the while closing the gap between the two rows of people. Once a girl is within reach of her chosen male she will reach out and grab his knife and scarf. On returning home in the evening she will prepare a meal and wait for him to call and reclaim his belongings. During the New Year in April (the Tai Lu are predominately Buddhist) many marriages are decided by this simple game. That’s why its a …………dangerous game!


Thai Lue Cultural Festival 2016.

More on the Festival

imagesAlong with the demonstrations of traditional games there will be cotton spinning and dessert making demonstrations along with performances of Lue singing and dancing including the Choeng or martial art dance. Almost throughout the festival you will find the Lue people  dressed in their finest traditional clothing.


For more on the Thai Lue see The Thai Lue Association




For more on Festivals across Thailand for each month click on any of the Following:  JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember




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  1. Jenny Lincoln - March 30, 2016 9:04 pm

    I saw on list of tourism events that there is a Tai Lue festival in wat sri ruttamas or similar name in Doi Sacket in Chiang Mai on April 2-3. Can you please get me more info on this? How to get to this temple by public transport? How far from the main Doi Sacket town center? What time? Where else to get info?

    • Chris Tuffey - March 31, 2016 8:43 am

      There are more and more locations adding their own events to celebrate these ancient people but I am afraid most of the festival details are in Thai or indeed not made public until almost after the event


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