Author Topic: Ubon Ratchathani: Candles in the Wind  (Read 1204 times)

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Offline Johnnie F.

Ubon Ratchathani: Candles in the Wind
« on: June 27, 2015, 01:20:18 PM »
Ubon Ratchathani marks the beginning of the rains retreat with a spectacular Candle Festival

Ubon Ratchathani is all set for its famed Candle Festival this month, marking the start of Vassa, the annual Buddhist Lent retreat.


The festival, which runs throughout July, culminates with huge, decorated candles being formally presented to local temples in a form of merit making for khao phansa, the Buddhist Lent.

Ubon Ratchathani prepares for the grand event with a series of showcases and activities to draw the visitors to the northeastern province. Arriving at Ubon Ratchathani airport, visitors are treated to a photo exhibition of amazing candle carvings.

The Buddhist Lent, the start of which coincides with the middle of the monsoon season, spans three lunar months during which monks are not allowed to stay overnight outside their own temples.

The retreat was the idea of the Lord Buddha, goes the history, and was intended to keep the monk at the temples rather than travelling around and walking on the rice crop during the rainy season. The community thus offers huge candles to their temples, allowing the monks sufficient light by which to meditate and recite the scriptures.

If you visit the temple on July 31, you may see Buddhists offering energy-saving light bulbs to the monks - they last longer.

The offering of the candles nonetheless continues, drawing more than 100,000 of tourists to Ubon Ratchathani alone.

The highlights are the demonstrations of candle carving, an international candle carving competition and the procession of the candles.

From July 18 to July 31, international artists will compete in a wax-carving competition. Some is avant-garde, while many are forward-looking pieces of candle. The artists will exhibit their pieces of art Thungsrimyang public square in Ubon Ratchathani.

A sightseeing tour of the candle-making communities is a must. Wat Sripradoo, Wat Thungsrimuang, Wat Pholphaen communities, for example, will show how the big floats of candle are taking shape. There, along with many local artist and Buddhist devotees, visitors will see the residents cut up and melt beeswax and pour it into moulds to form components of the huge, elaborate candles and their decorations.

On July 31, the parade begins at Thung Sri Muang Park in front of City Hall, where a giant wax pillar stands. More than 50 local temples each prepare a float.

If you go

<< Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani are bridged by many daily domestic flights. Public buses also leave Bangkok daily. Accommodation is always fully booked during the candle festival, so you’re advised to reserve in advance.

<< For more about the festival, call (04) 524 3770 or visit www.TATUbon.org or www.GuideUbon.com.

The Nation
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Offline thaiga

Re: Ubon Ratchathani: Candles in the Wind
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 01:35:03 PM »
                                       Must say the floats look fantastic, lot of work gone into the making.

Khao Phansa, Thai Buddhist Festivals
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
 

 



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