Date: 19-20 July 2016
Venue: Thung Si Mueang Park in Ubon Ratchathani
As the seasonal monsoon rains descend over the kingdom, it marks the beginning of the Buddhist “rain retreat” and the Buddhist Lent, or “Phansa”, during which all Buddhist monks retreat to the temples. This is also an auspicious time for Buddhist ordinations as it marks a period of spiritual renewal. There will be a procession on the evening of 19th July and then the main procession will be on the morning of 20 July 2016.
Known as “Khao Phansa”, the Buddhist Lent is a time devoted to study and meditation. Buddhist monks remain within the temple grounds and do not venture out for a period of three months starting from the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month (in July) to the fifteenth day of the waxing moon of the eleventh lunar month (in October).
As Ubon Ratchathani province prepares for the Buddhist Lent, men folk, ordained as well as laymen, with artistic skills set about the task of moulding and sculpting Lenten candles. As these works of art are to be presented as Buddhist merit-making offerings, the artisans pour their heart and soul into their craft. Many of these are fine examples of Buddhist art and sculpture. The candle festival is unique to Ubon Ratchathani province and the customs and traditions related to this Buddhist festival have been diligently preserved by local communities.
Map showing location of Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival:
GPS Coordinates: 15.229813, 104.857298
The festival takes place around the full moon in July every year. Click here to read our report on our own visit to this festival in 2011.
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