Phi Ta khon festival, Dan Sai, Loei.
Have you ever been closer to the world of the spirits? Well, we are not asking about your personal super natural experience, but the passion, spookiness of the virtual ghost world like Halloween that takes place on October 31 in the West. There is another festival in the same line of Halloween, and we are talking about Phi Ta khon, a famous festival of Thailand. If you want to experience this exciting festival then you have to visit the Dan Sai district of Loei province, which is located at a distance of 80 km from Loei or 450 kilometers from Bangkok. If you visit the nation in the month of June, you can encounter the mischief, madness, fun and excitement of the supernatural and spiritual presence.
In front, these were children disguised in ghosts…
Origin of Phi Ta khon- This unique festival is one of the greatest attractions of Thailand. This festival is a part of ‘Bun Pha Ves,’ which is a fun-filled holiday for the Buddhists. How this festival started is not clearly known. However, there is a belief among the locals that the period of the last life of Buddha held the origin of this festival. That was the period when Buddha was going through the last stage of his life before he reached his ultimate heavenly destination.
You will see many “groups” of ghosts and tourists or visitors taking pictures.
The “ghosts” will gently pose for you…
History of the festival – How the festival begins to be celebrated in this part of Thailand explains an interesting story. Though the exact origin of the festival is unclear, but there is a strong belief among the people of this area that it all started in the period when Buddha was born as Prince Vessandron. As per the claims of the Buddhist folklore, the prince was bighearted and a very kind person. He didn’t hesitate to give away to the people with free hands. On a particular day, the prince distributed a white elephant. This royal animal was a symbol of rain and the people of the kingdom got worried that the village might face disasters like famine and drought. They were fuming with anger and decided to send away the prince into exile. It began the journey of the prince and after a long time, the king and his people asked him to come back. They were not angry anymore and celebrated the arrival of the prince with tremendous joy. Their excitement and celebration were so noisy that it resulted in the awakening of the dead. The celebration was therefore, joined by the dead, and it marked the beginning of the festival.
These 2 guys were hilarious!
The festival- When the sixth or seventh lunar month arrives, normally in June, Phi Ta Khon is celebrated. Much like Halloween, the participants decorate themselves with weird hats, masks and ghost-like dresses. The kids play tricks all around the town. They use coconut tree bases to make huge masks and these masks symbolize this celebration. On one day, a masked procession takes place, followed by dance, music and entertainment. People also visit the temple in dancing style and fire-off rockets made up of bamboo and it means the procession has come to an end. You will also find that monks are reciting the story of Buddha’s last avatar before he attained nirvana.