From the Blog

June 3, 2017

Thailand’s Biggest Candle Festivals

July and Thailand’s Candle Festivals 

The Kingdom celebrates in style each year, around Asanha Bucha Day and the start of the Buddhist Lent period, with a whole host of colourful and fun filled festivals to celebrate the humble candle and its place in the hearts of its people. Listed here are details of the biggest and best. For more on The Significance of Candles in the Kingdom’s annual Candle festivals, and why they replaced gunpowder see our post Thailand’s Candle Festivals

 

July Festivals in Thailand

International Wax Sculpture and Candle Procession Festival

Thailand's Biggest Candle Festivals International Wax Sculpture and Candle Procession Festival

 

When:  8th July 2017

Where: Thung Si Mueang Ubon Ratchathani

Being the oldest festival of its kind, this event can still call its self the biggest in Thailand. Giant candles, with their main bodies made of wood or plaster, are coated with Wax and then crafted by artists, from Bulgaria, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States of America, to compete for the best in the festival.

On Asanha Bucha day, (8th July 2017) the candles are taken to Thung Si Mueang, a park in the middle of the city, where they are decorated and then exhibited in the evening. On the same evening, there are a number of small processions with lighted candles at several temples.

The Main procession takes place on the morning of Vassa (Buddhist Lent Day: 9th July 2017). The candles are paraded through the city center on floats, accompanied by dancers and musicians in traditional clothing.

 

Korat Candle Festival

 

When:  (dates for 2017 TBA)

Where: The Tao Suranaree Monument, Nakhon Ratchasima.

The festival is a wonderful display of exquisitely carved at times massive candles that depict the story of the Lord Buddha, the royal projects in honour of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the many historical attractions of Nakhon Ratchasima.

 

Candle Procession and Elephant Back Merit Making

 

Picture Curtsy TAT


When:
July 2017 (Exact dates not known but normally around Buddhist Lent Day 9th July 2017)

Where: The Monument of Phaya Surin Phakdi Sri Narong Changwang, Surin

Surin Candle Festival: Surin is possibly best known in Thailand as the home of elephants and the event boasts a procession of nearly 100 of these elaborately-decorated animals, carrying some of the town’s most highly-revered monks in a unique and memorable merit-making ceremony.

The parade also includes exquisitely carved candles from 12 famous temples from within the province, along with over 100 Surin-style folk dancers and musicians.

 

Nakhon Phanom Candle Festival

Candle festivals nakhon phanom

 

When:  Approx 8-9  July 2017 TBC
Where: Wat Phra That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom

This mass merit-making ceremony, is centered around the highly-respected Phra That Phanom, (a 53-meter-tall, square-shaped pagoda and the most important Buddhist site in the province), it is a time to enjoy  local Thai classical dance and music and to pay homage to the pagoda.

Visitors can take part in “Wien Thien” or the ritual of walking with lighted candles, around a chedi as a form of meditation to pay homage to the Lord Buddha and his teachings.

 

 Pansa Candles Procession Festival

 

 Thailand’s Candle Festivals 2016When: Approx 8-9  July 2017 TBC

 Where: Suphanburi. Central Thailand

The official opening ceremony normally kicks off from 08:00 am. on the  20th July, with a spectacular parade of exquisitely-carved candles accompanied by traditional performances of local ethnic groups. There are also presentations and exhibitions of cultural heritages and tourist attractions from all 10 districts of Suphanburi.

The event is to highlight the unique diversity of the province from its religious culture, the way of life of its many tribal people and to expose the uniqueness of its ancient places. The many carved candles floats take part in a contests for the best in class. Along-side the festival, there will be a host of impressive cultural performances in both music and dance featuring the local diversity.

 

 Aquatic Phansa Festival

 

When: 9th July 2017

Where: Khlong Lad Chado, Phak Hai District. Phra Nakho Ayutthaya

This festival marks Vessa (Buddhist Lent: 9th July 2017) in a unique way with a long and colourful procession of boats carrying candles to the temple.

Also known as the Lad Chado Candle Floating Festival this annual event takes place on the waters of Lad Chado Canal. Visitors get to experience the local people’s way of life living alongside the canal, fishing, farming and many other activities. There will also be the Baan Suan Rim Klong beauty pageant, local sports games, Lad Chado people’s way of life photography exhibition and a floating market.

 

  Suphan Buri Candle Festival

Thailand’s Candle Festivals Suphan Buri Candle Festival

 

When: July 2017 (Exact dates not known)

Where: Wat Pa Lelai Woravihara. Suphan Buri

Surphan Buri presents the spectacular procession of candles around the province’s main town featuring local folk performances, a candle procession competition and candle floating decoration competition. Watch out for some of the candles which can surprise you in other ways……..

 

Roi et Candle Festival

roi et candle festival

 

When:  8th July 2017

Where: Somdech Phra Srinakarindra Park Roi et Northeast Thailand

Organised annually on Asanha Bucha Day and the start of the Buddhist Lent period, starting at the Somdech Phra Srinakarindra Park, in the heart of the city. Each temple will beautifully decorate their individually designed floats with colourful flowers and that offset the beautifully intricate wax carvings, and then parade them all along the main road via the market to the cruciform pavilion in the Park.

All the time escorted by local people dressed in traditional clothing and yet more dancing to traditional folk music. There will also be contests featuring the best floats and cultural performances. See more You Tube.

 

For more on the history of the Candle festivals see our post Thailand’s Candle Festivals

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

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