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Khao Phansa Festival 2019 in Thailand

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Each country has different customs and habits for the locals to express their religion belief. Festival is a popular way for them to express their culture. Khao Phansa Festival plays an important role in Thailand, as a way to show Thais respect to Buddhism.

Table of Contents

Thailand is a country deeply influenced by Buddhist religion. With more than 90% population are Buddhism, Buddhism plays an important role in Thais life and beliefs. Khao Phansa Day is organized on the first full moon day in 8th month, Thais lunar year. In 2019, it will be held on July 17th so you can consider traveling to Thailand at that time to enjoy the festival.

Carved candle in Khao Phansa Festival

Carved candle in Khao Phansa Festival

Day 1

On the first day of Khao Phansa Festival, Thais wear beautiful clothes to have a meal together with other family members, then go to the local temple in the early morning. After worshiping rituals, people began to respect Buddhism and prayed for luck by using perfume to clean Buddha statues.

Day 2

The monks age praying

The monks are praying at Khao Phansa Festival

The second day is called the preparation day as well as “Wan Nao” in Thai, known as the New Year's Eve in the Thai New Year. On this day, people do not say unlucky things or do any wrong or malevolent actions, houses are always cleaned and throw away things that are no longer used.

Day 3

On the following days of the festival, people often go to the temple to listen to lectures and stories about Buddhism from the monks. This is also an opportunity for parents to bring their children to the temples to study the religion in order to have a good character when growing up, with outstanding qualities of independent and tolerance.

Activities

Offering food to the monks

Offering food to the monks

During this festival in Thailand, a lot of ceremonies are organized which provide Buddhist followers over the country an opportunity to contribute something to monks and candles carriers at night. Tourists attending the Khao Phansa festival not only understand the culture and spiritual life in Thais stories and legends about the Buddha but also the occasion to enjoy traditional Thai vegetarian dishes. On this occasion, many Thais youngers also cut their hair to pray for their parents, which is tradition activity of Thais. The men in Thailand, from the low-class people to the high-class people must stay on the temple at least one period in their life. It time for people giving new robes for monks and the monks are not allowed to leave the temple for 3 months.

Khao Phansa Day is usually held in July to announce the start of the Buddhist Settlement season, which is also the end of the annual monsoon. The Settlement season will end three months later with Kathin Day.

Candles are floating on the river

Candles are floating on the river

There are many places in Thailand holding Khao Phansa Day, such as:

  • In Saraburi: tourists will admire a colorful festival held in Buddha’s Footprint temple and unique carry candles ritual at night.
  • In Surin: besides candle festival, there is a “merit-making” that will display about 100 elephants. The high status monks ride elephants and the festival is held in Phaya Surin which is a local Buddhist monument.
  • In Ayutthaya: Khao Phansa Day in this area is called “Aquatic Phansa Festival”, the locals carry the candles by boats to the temple then the monks will use these candles during three months seclusion.

Thanh Van

(Images source: Internet)

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