Tourism Authority of Thailand
License Number: 11/2802
Phi Ta Khon is a type of masked procession celebrated on the first day of a three-day Buddhist merit-making holiday know in Thai as "Boon Pra Wate". The Phi Ta Khon festival is unique to the Dan Sai district in Loei Province and reflects the local Isan be
Last Modified On: Tuesday, 19/June/2007 02:45:13am
Back to Previous
The origins of the Phi Ta Khon Festival can be found in the tale of Lord Buddha's last great incarnation before attaining Enlightenment. In Buddhist accounts, it is said that when Prince Vessandara, the Buddha's penultimate incarnation, returned to his city, a celebration so loud that it even awoke the dead who then joined in all the fun. This very colorful and vibrant Phi Ta Khon procession is the central focus of the celebrations.
In a lively re-enactment of the tale, the young men of the community dress up as "spirits" wearing long trailing costumes made from colorful strips of cloth sewn together.
The hideous-looking Phi Ta Khon mask which is made of dried sticky rice husk is painted in bright red, green or other colors, and features the characteristic long pointed nose. This completes the transformation. The clanging sound of the square cowbells worn around the waist announces the presence of the spirits who wield phallic-shaped long-handled swords decorated with red paint. The good-natured, fun-loving spirits mingle among the crowd, teasing and amusing all who take part in the procession. Spectators and visitors are welcome to join in the fun.
On the second day, the villagers dance their way to the temple and fire off the usual bamboo rockets to signal the end of the procession.
Venue : Dan Sai District, Loei Province