The Candle Festival in Thailand accompanies what is known as Buddhist Lent or Khao Phan-sa in Thai language. Magnificent giant candle displays link local customs and religious belief.
This year the event falls on the 8th and 9th of July.
In Buddhism, monks enter monastic life on Khao Phansa Day, staying in monasteries and temples for circa 3 months until the rainy season ends on Wan Ok Phansa Day. During this period the monks are not allowed to leave their temples. It is a time for reflection, study and meditation.
It is customary for Thai people to offer candles to the monks for use throughout the rainy season. The candles, which are sometimes as tall as 2 meters, stay alight for the whole 3 months until the Rains Retreat (another name for Khao Phansa). Locals believe that through this act of philanthropy, they will become sharper, brighter and smarter, embodying the same characteristics as the candles light.
The festival is celebrated throughout the province; however, the major activities occur at Thung Sri Mueng temple.
The most famous Candle Festival happens in Ubon Ratchathani, Northeastern Thailand, which is known as the cultural home of artists. Here you will find a splendid array of modern arts, handicrafts, Buddhist arts and architecture. Traditionally this two- day event is held around the middle of July according to the Buddhist calendar.
This age old tradition passes on from generation to generation up.
Exquisite candles are displayed during the parade. The accompaniment of Northeastern traditional dance and music, which provide lively and joyful background for the festival, makes this a must visit experience. The “Buddhist Lent” is an auspicious event of monumental historic significance. Locals look forward to the event as it affords them an opportunity to sustain their culture by volunteering to create the elegant candles.
If you have a chance to go to Thailand Candle Festival, it is recommended to visit the local community 2 or 3 days before the event to learn about the traditions of how the candles are made. For more information, please contact our Thailand experts.