Monday, November 18, 2019

Welcoming Vassa

Jul 16. 2019
Ubon Ratchathani province is famous for its extravagant candle processions.
Ubon Ratchathani province is famous for its extravagant candle processions.
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By The Nation

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Today is the start of Buddhist Lent or Vassa and Thais around the country are taking part in rituals and cultural activities to mark as this annual retreat. We take a look at the major events.

Bangkok

Buddhists are invited to take part in candlelit processions around the ubosot of Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan today, Asarnha Bucha Day, from 9am to 8pm while tomorrow they can join an alms-giving from 4 to 6.30pm during which colourful flowers rather than rice are offered to the monks.

The temple is also holding an exhibition of religious icons and a showcase of flowers and unique wicker works crafted by local artisans.

Families can enjoy a puppet show, Thai musical performances, workshops on traditional fragrant lotions and perfumes from several kinds of Thai flowers, and also learn how to create paper and fresh flower garlands as well as floral jellies.     

Boats parade along a canal in Ayutthaya carrying Lenten candles to Lat Chado Temple.

 

Ayutthaya

Today, the Ayutthaya Aquatic Phansa Festival returns to Phak Hai district of the old capital and visitors can dress in traditional costumes to celebrate Buddhist Lent Day just like their ancestors did.

Like every year, the residents carry the wax candles by boat along Lat Chao canal to the temple. During the day, visitors can enjoy a variety of local delicacies and sweets as well as fun folk games at the Lat Chado Market.  

 

Saraburi

Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan in Saraburi maintains its traditional alms-giving ritual with pilgrims invited to offer flowers to the monks today and tomorrow.

This year, the much-loved event travels back to the past by reenacting the royal processions of the Ayutthaya period, when the kings were carried on a palanquin to the temple to pay their respect to the footprint of Lord Buddha. Also on view is an exhibition of Dok Khoa Phansa flowers, handcrafted products, the Royal Candle procession and various cultural performances.   

Royal processions from the Ayutthaya period will be reenacted at Wat Phra Phutthabat Ratchaworamahawihan in Saraburi.

Ubon Ratchathani

In the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, craftsmen young and old show off their creativity in the annual candle festival that wraps tomorrow.   

Twenty-metre-high carved candles and wax creations relating scenes from Buddhist mythology and folklore will be paraded around the city pillar shrine and this year visitors can also enjoy a light and sound show, a night candle procession, folk dancing and a food and craft fair.     

 

Nong Khai

Sitting on the banks of the Mekong River, the town of Nong Khai welcomes Buddhists from both Thailand and Laos with processions of colourful wax creations tomorrow night.

Running from 6pm to 10pm, Prajak Road will be turned into an entertainment venue with many cultural performances and folk dances, the processions themselves and an extravagant light and sound show.  

 

Roi Et

Today, students and local residents join candle processions from 14 temples to celebrate Buddhist Lent Day.

The festival starts with the daily ritual of alms-giving to the monks and a showcase of beautifully carved candles in different sizes and designs.

 

For more information, call 1672.  

 

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