Phi Ta Khon- the ghost festival of thailand
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Date of the Festival: 5-7th July 2019

Intro to the festival

Phi Ta Khon, every so often known as Ghost Festival, is the maximum common call for a group of festivals held in Dan Sai, Loei province, Isan, Thailand. The activities take place over 3 days a while between March and July, the dates being decided on yearly via the city’s mediums.

The complete occasion is referred to as Bun Luang, a part of a Buddhist benefit-making holiday additionally called Bun Phawet.

The first day is the Ghost Festival itself, additionally referred to as Wan Ruam (assembly day). The city’s citizens invite protection from Phra U-pakut, the spirit of the Mun river. They then preserve a sequence of games and take part in a procession wearing mask fabricated from rice husks or coconut leaves with hats crafted from rice steamers, plus patchwork clothing. They additionally wear bells and wave wood phalluses.

 

The origins of this a part of the competition are historically ascribed to a story of the Vessantara Jataka in which the Buddha in one among his past lives as a prince made an extended journey and was presumed lifeless. The celebrations on his go back had been so raucous as to wake the lifeless.

The second day of the pageant includes factors of the Rocket Festival, plus gown and dance contests and extra parades.

On the third and final day, the villagers concentrate to sermons from Buddhist monks.

 

History of the festival

Along, long term in the past, it's miles said, Prince Vessantara (Buddha in his beyond life) made a long adventure. Indeed, he changed into long past for goodbye, that all of his followers presumed him dead. Yet, one day, the lower back – alive and nicely. His fans had fun, and the celebrations that happened had been so raucous that they may be said to have woken the useless. The celebrations have persevered via time, and feature advanced into one of the most a laughs of Thailand’s gala's, part of a bigger Buddhist benefit-making competition called Bun Pawet. Festival-goers get dressed up in ghost masks (the literal translation of the pageant’s call), and parade and birthday party through the streets of Dan Sai district, within the newly-latest Loei province. The masks, as you may see from the photos, are a sight to behold, and quite darn horrifying. They are lengthy, white, and feature massive noses. Made from dried sticky husks, and skillfully hand-painted with vibrant shades, those masks are unique to this pageant.

People’s way of celebration

What becomes once a children's pageant sort of like Halloween has step by step turned out to be a complex pageant for the artists. The number one interest of every competition-goer could fall at the superb tremendous mask, with terrifying teeth and evil eyes. Legend says that it is meant terrible luck to maintain your masks after the competition gets over, however as times have modified, humans now promote their masks and make suitable cash out of it. The mask captures the eye of vacationers, and as a result, the costs can go as excessive as thousands of Bahts. And it is not clean to make the costume. Hours and hours of tough work is required to make a fancy dress which while patched together should now not restriction the dancers' motion and additionally entice the locals and travellers on the identical time.

Costumes of the festival

The Thai people go to first-rate trouble entering into costume for the Phi Ta Khon celebrations; sheets and blankets are sewn together to create makeshift shrouds and big, lengthy mask are made via carving designs into the bases of coconut trees and then painting the mask to resemble a ghostly face. Hats are made from bamboo bins, typically used to store sticky rice. Dressing up for the event is this sort of widespread part of the festival that opposition is held to decide the nice masks and costumes amongst the one's gift, and there’s even a prize for the satisfactory costumed dancer.

 

Parades of the festival

There’s no better manner to show off a jaw-dropping gown and mask than with a colorful parade, and more than one processions take location throughout Phi Ta Khon. On the primary day of the festival, a masked parade is held during the city, accompanied by tune and dancing. On the second one day, every other procession takes place, with locals wearing a sacred Buddha image via the streets and dancing their manner to the city’s most important temple, wherein they allow off rockets.

 

The theme of the festival

As the primary industry of the vicinity, agriculture is a principal subject matter in the celebrations, as festivalgoers make benefit and desire for a bumper year of vegetation beforehand. During the occasion, organizations of farmers can be visible not exactly in costume however virtually standing out - those men smear themselves in clean dust and convey staffs, signifying the importance of the land to their livelihoods and attractive to better powers for rains and a positive harvest.