A busy time on the Thailand events calendar, the Ok Phansa festival is celebrated on the full moon of the 11th lunar month or October and marks the end of the Buddhist Lent. It is a time of celebration and merit-making with different events and activities held throughout the country in different provinces.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “Among Thailand’s fascinating events and festivals, Ok Phansa offers tourists much choices in the way of unique Thai events that offer local culture, traditions and fun. And this year the festival takes on extra significance with many events held in honour of King Rama IX and King Rama X.”
Among the most famous events for Ok Phansa are:
The Saraburi Long-boat Race Festival 2017 on 23-24 September, which dates back to the golden age of the Ayutthaya era and features thrilling long boat-races on the Pasak River.
The Buffalo Racing Festival 2017 from 28 September-4 October in Chon Buri. With their jockeys clinging on, buffaloes race at surprisingly quick speeds in what is also a celebration of this animal’s exalted status in the agricultural arena.
The Nakhon Phanom Illuminated Boat Procession 2017 from 28 September-6 October, in which locals float the Lai Reua Fai or illuminated boats down the Mekong River. Loaded with food, flowers, incense sticks, candles and handmade lanterns, the boats make a spectacular sight.
Taking place in Samut Prakan from 29 September-6 October is the Rap Bua Festival 2017, an ancient Buddhist tradition of the local people of Bang Phli district and where the highlight is a magnificent barge procession of a replica of the Luangpho To Buddhist image along Khlong Samrong.
The Sakon Nakhon Wax Castle Festival 2017 from 2– 5 October, with amazing wax sculptures on display and long-boat races on Nong Han Reservoir. The intricate sculptures in the form of entire cities, elaborate deities and shrines are paraded around town and are helping to gain increased international recognition for this event.
The Surat Thani Chak Phra Festival and Boat Races 2017 from 2-10 October on the Tapi Riverbank and Naris Bridge. Floral floats shaped into mythical creatures from Buddhist folklore go on parade, while the boat races attract teams from several Southern provinces.
And in Nong Khai, the famous Naga Fireball World Festival 2017 is set for 4-11 October. One of the more mysterious of events on the Thailand events calendar, this centres around the as yet unexplained fireballs that annually erupt into the sky from the Mekong River.