Chak Phra Festival in Thailand

February 29, 2012 by

This annual festival has been organized to commemorate the day that Lord Buddha came back from the heaven. Buddhists in Amphoe Khok Pho and nearby will accompany the decorated boat procession from all temples. The procession will be composed of beautifully dressed people. Activities include dancing and offering food to Buddhist monks at the District Office’s field for 5 days, 5 nights.

Surat Thani’s Chak Phra Festival is an outstanding annual celebration with its religious devotion, magnificent pageant and cheerful atmosphere. Held in October, the festival celebrates the official end of the annual three-month Buddhist Rains retreat (Phansa). The Chak Phra Festival literally means the procession of hauling the Buddha images. The original stems from the Buddhist belief that during Phansa the Buddha went up to Heaven to preach to his mother’s spirit. The day of his return to Earth is called “Ok Phansa” and the festival marks that date. It is also an occasion for religious merit making and celebrations.

The enchanting processions of revered Buddha images are carried out on land and water to represent the Buddha’s return to Earth. Local people also organize boat races on the Tapi River with longboats which carry up to 50 exuberant rowers, cheered along by shouting and laughing crowds along the banks of the river.

More information is available here.

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