Um Phra Dam Nam Festival

The annual Bathing Buddha Ceremony and Delicious Food Festival of Petchaboon

Date: 11th-15th October 2015 (Bathing ceremony on 12th October)
Venue: The former City Hall of Petchabun, Wat Traipoom, Wat Bote Chanamarn

This religious ceremony means the bathing of a Buddha image. This event is annually held on the fifteenth day of the waning moon in the 10th lunar month or during the Sat Thai period, in September. Phra Buddha Mahadhamaracha is a highly revered ancient Buddha image of Phetchabun. The image was found in the Pasak River by a group of farmers four hundred years ago and it was then taken to be housed in Wat Trai Phum. According to a legend, the Buddha image disappeared twice from the temple and was later found in water. It was said that the Buddha image itself had wandered out of the temple. Therefore, the ritual bathing ceremony is held.

The ceremony starts at 1 p.m. The image is carried around town and put under a tent in Wat Trai Phum, so Buddhists can pay respect to it and stick gold leaf on its body. In the evening, prayers are chanted. At night, there are various kinds of entertainment. The next morning, people make merit as it is Sat Thai Day. Foods, including Krayasat, and other necessities are given to monks. The Buddha image is then taken to be immersed in the Pasak River by the governor of Phetchabun and traditional dances are performed to show respect to it. After the ceremony, the water in the river is regarded as sacred. As a result, people swim in it or take the water to drink before the boat racing begins.