Ubonratchathani Candle Festival
The Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival, the most elaborate of the traditional parading of candles to wats (Thai: แห่เทียน hae thian), is held in Ubon Ratchathani, Isan, Thailand, around the days of Asanha Puja (which commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon) and Wan Kao Pansa (which marks the beginning of vassa).
At the start of the Lenten period, it is traditional in preparation for the rainy season for the devout to donate to items for the personal use of monks, and of candles to dispel gloom in their quarters and elsewhere within the wat. The latter is often the core event of many village celebrations, but is at its most elaborate in the Ubon Ratchathani version, which nowadays is a major event both for residents and for tourists: giant candles are paraded through the town, each representing a local temple, district or other institution. The more elaborate versions are accompanied by scenes of Hindu and Buddhist mythology sculpted in wood or plaster and coated with wax. Of course, these candles are never burned.
A girl dancing in the parade
A figure on one of the floats
The candles are carved a couple of days before the procession.
On Asanha Bucha day, the candles are taken to Thung Si Mueang, a park in the middle of the city, where they are decorated and then exhibited in the evening. On the same evening, there are small processions with lighted candles at several temples.
The procession takes place on the morning of Wan Kao Pansa. The candles are paraded through the city centre on floats, accompanied by representatives of the respective institutions. These are normally dancers or musicians in traditional dress.
In addition to the above, the festival is accompanied by the usual paraphernalia of feasting and games which attend any Thai festival.
- Hi/Hello SawasdeeKrub(Male) สวัสดีครับ
- Good Bye La-gorn ลาก่อน
- Good Night Ra-Tree-Sa-Was ราตรีสวัสดิ์
- See You Later Laew-pob-kan-Mai แล้วพบกันใหม่
- Thank you Kob-khun ขอบคุณ
- Excuse Me Kor-Tod ขอโทษ
- How much is this? Tor-Rai เท่าไหร่
To reach and English-speaking operator, call the Tourist Police or in case of accident, an ambulance service from one of the many international hospital in Thailand.
Emergency Services Telephone
- Tourist Police 1155
- Police(General Emergency Call) 191
- Ambulance and Rescue 1554
- Fire 199
- National Disaster Warning Centre 1860
- Crime 1195
- Medical Emergency Call 1669