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    Phi Ta Khon Festival : Dan Sai District, Loei District and Province

    Phi Ta Khon Festival
    June 12 - 14, 2010
    Dan Sai District, Loei District and Province


    The Phi Ta Khon festival is unique to the Dan Sai district in Loei Province and reflects the local Isan belief in ghosts and spirits. Held once a year, it is part of a grand merit-making festival known as the "Boon Luang" festival.

    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, it was such a joyous occasion that the village spirits came forth to join the welcoming parade. This very colourful 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 colourful 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 colours, 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.

    There are two types of "spirits" featured in the Phi Ta Khon procession namely the "Phi Ta Khon Yai" — the supreme Phi Ta Khon, and the "Phi Ta Khon Lek", the ones that are commonly found. The making of the Phi Ta Khon Yai involves the performance of a sacred ritual to seek the blessings of the supreme powers before work on the Phi Ta Khon Yai masks can be initiated. It is also a task reserved exclusively for the descendants of families in which the tradition of making Phi Ta Khon masks has been practised for several generations. The Phi Ta Khon Yai is made of bamboo and is dressed in either male or female attire.

    *** The contents are subject to change without notice,
    For more information plase contact :
    TAT Call Center 1672

    Tourism Authority of Thailand, Loei Office
    Tel: +66 (0) 4281 2812
    Fax: +66 (0) 4281 1480
    E-mail: tatloei[at]

    Accommodation in Dan Sai District
    - Phu Pha Nam Resort Tel: 042 078078-9

    - Rang Yen Resort Tel: 042 809511 – 3, 042 809514
    - Lay Leelawadee Resort Tel: 042 801277
    - SB Resort Tel: 042 891918
    - Na Thum Nam Taeng Homestay Tel: 042 892339,891583, 042 086 8624812

    Accommodation in Phu Ruea District
    - Phu Dara Resort Tel: 042 801138-9
    - Phu Ruea Busba Tel: 042 899330, 042 899229
    - Phu Ruea Resort Tel: 042 899048, 042 899042
    - Baan Thongchai Resort Tel: 042 899116


    Loei is a border town adjacent to present-day Laos, formerly known as the Lan Xang Kingdom in the past. Many of the temples and archaeological sites in Loei thus reflect the influence of the Lan Xang artistic style, particularly the sloping roof covered with wooden tiles commonly found in Loei. Other distinctive features can be seen in the Ubosot or ordination hall and the Viharn, the assembly hall.


    The temple which was built in 1560 is of special significance as it symbolizes the fraternal relationship between two kings, namely Somdet Phra Maha Chakkaphat of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and Phra Chao Chaiya Chetthathirat of the Lan Xang Kingdom, who took a pledge of peace at the stupa that neither would encroach on the other's territory, and to unify their forces against the invading army.

    The Lan-Xang style stupa is located on a hill by the Man River and marks the borderline between the two kingdoms. The stupa is a 30-metres high brick-and-concrete structure in the shape of a "cubical lotus", similar to the Phra That Phanom stupa in Nakhon Phanom Province, Phrat That Luang in Vientianne and other such stupas found along the banks of the Mekong River.


    The temple was built in the late Ayutthaya period and has served as the town's sanctuary and moral refuge for generations.

    Assumed to be of the Chiang Saen period, the temple houses a magnificent statue depicting the meditating Buddha with an elongated face and a flamboyant top-knot. The mural paintings in the Viharn or assembly hall depict the Jataka, the ten previous lives of the Lord Buddha. An inscription on the northern wall suggests that the mural paintings were completed in 1852 during the reign of King Rama IV. Mural paintings on the outer walls of the viharn were completed in 1916.


    Phra That Satcha literally means the temple of truthful pledge.

    One year following the collapse of the Phra That Phanom in Nakhon Phanom, considered to be the most revered Buddhist stupa in Northeastern Thailand, this 33-metre high stupa was constructed on a large rocky foundation.

    Modelled after the original Phra That Phanom, the Phra That Satcha was constructed to continue the religious symbolism represented by the original stupa in Nakhon Phanom. This helped to heal the sense of loss following the tragic collapse of the original stupa and re-proclaimed the pledge to preserve Buddhism in the region.

    Relics of the Lord Buddha and his followers and soil from the original Phra That Phanom were consecrated within the new stupa. A gilded Buddha's footprint is housed within the stupa.

  2. #2
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    Pattaya Jomtien

  3. #3
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Just arrived at the festival this afternoon to see some of the competition (dancing performance) among groups that will be marching along Keaw Asa Road tomorrow.

    Some pictures the day before the parade,……

    At the museum,…………

    Building material for the masks

    There’s a shop where you can purchase gifts related to the festival in the same area where the museum is located.

    Last edited by S Landreth; 22-06-2012 at 08:57 PM.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

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    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The Parade Day events, times and one complaint. I would think the schedule would stay the same each year, but you might want to make sure before you visit.

    10:00 am - Official Opening Ceremony and Grand Phi Ta Khon Parade in front of the Dan Sai District Office.

    1:00 pm – Performances on the stage in front of Dan Sai District Office / Phi Ta Khon competition (final round)

    3:00 pm - Phra Wet parade led by Chao Pho Kun and Chao-Mae Nang Tiem to Phon-Chai Temple to make merit and firing of the Bamboo rockets / Phi Ta Khon mask discarding ceremony at Wang-wern pier, Phon Chai Temple (don’t believe them, we were told they do not discard these masks any longer)

    7:00 pm – Buddhist sermons at Phon-Chai Temple

    At this years event there were 7 different processions. We watched 4 of them go by before heading to the Wat to see each procession dance and circle the main building where the Lord Buddha image is kept.

    We stayed and watched a few procession there before heading back to the main stage for the final competition, but we didn’t stay long because of the late start.

    The one complaint as heard from another guest and the resort staff (yearly thing). The government official’s have no respect for time and the event didn’t start as planed, because they had to open it.

    We got there at about 9:30 am and waited and waited. They opened the event with two sets of five sky divers from the Royal Thai Amy landing next to the empty field next to the Dan Sai District office.

    We watched 4 floats go by before heading to the Wat to watch the dancing before heading back to the grand stands for the final competition. We sat in the grand stands waiting for a bit for the competition to start but left after about a half hour of waiting.

    At the Wat,....

    During the parade the main street was just a sea of people. As I understand all the resorts in the area were full.

    We stayed at the Phu Na Come Resort. Nice enough place for a couple of nights: Phu Na Come Resort

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