Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival in Thailand
Every year in Dan Sai in Loei Province is one of the most colorful and unique festivals in Thailand called Phi Ta Khon Festival. It is every year at the end od June or early July. This festival includes a mixture of both animist and Buddhist beliefs. Phi Ta Khon festival is based on the Jataka tales, these stories are about previous lives of Siddhartha Gautama before he became Buddha. On this festival they show to us the story when he was a prince known as Vessandara and the welcoming parade for his return to home city. That was so joyous and important that even spirits of the dead decided to attend.
Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival takes place over three days. The first day is main day, it is called Wan Ruam , which mean the day of the gathering. On this day the locals dress up in flamboyant costumes and scary masks, trying to look like ghoulish ghosts. These costumes are handmade and each persons is trying to be quite inventive and to outdo others. In the old years at the end of festival masks were thrown into the river.
The second day is called Bun Bang Fai. On this day is also another parade with lot of dancing and merriment. They have bamboo rockets and late that day they launched these rockets inti the sky, hoping that they will bring sufficient rain for their crops. Also, there are a lot of different competitions like as : which rocket will go the highest or who is the best dressed ghost.
Third, the last day of festival is a more spiritual affair. People go at the temple where they listen to sermons about the ten lives of the Lord Buddha.
People all over the Thailand and from international destinations travel to Dan Sai to enjoy the event. Because it is relatively small town it get crowded during the festival, but it is really worth to attend this festival.