2017 Candle Festivals Buddhist Lent


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Khao Pansa is celebrated nationwide on the full moon,
Buddhist Lent is known as Khao Pansa," when monks stay at the temple for 3 months during the rainy season.

On the first day, the day of the full moon is Asalha Puja. On this day that the Lord Buddha preached His sermon to followers after attaining enlightenment. The day is usually celebrated by merit-making, listening to a monk’s sermon, and joining a candle lit procession during the night.

On the first day after full moon is Khao Phansa. This is the beginning of the three-month Buddhist ‘Lent’ period. At this time, all monks and novices must remain in their temples. They should not venture out or spend the night in any other place except in cases of extreme emergency and, even then, their time away must not exceed seven consecutive nights. This is a time for serious contemplation and meditation for both monks and laymen alike. Traditionally, it is also important for laymen to ordain their sons into the monkhood on this day to get maximum benefit from the Buddhist teachings.

During the 3 months of Khao Phansa many devout Buddhists refrain from consuming, meat, alcohol, and tobacco.

There are some spectacular parades for Khao Pansa around the country

Ayutthaya. 8 July 2017
lat chado400.jpg

Lat Chado Market Candle Festival
Where: Lat Chado Market, Phak Hai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
In the festival, there will be candle parade on boat contest. The festival also features candle festival on both land and water. Watch Miss Lat Chado contest, Photography contest, a contest looking for the Best decorated house along Khlong Lat Chado and also local sports competition.

Ubon Ratchathani 8 – 9 July 2017

Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival
Where: Upparat Road (in front of Wat Si Ubon Rattanaram) Rob Thung Si Muang Road, Ubon Ratchathani
Witness the stunning printed and carved candles parade. Watch local dance contest and a variety of product exhibition.

Saraburi 8 – 10 July 2017
Floral Alms Giving in Buddhist Lent and Candle Offering
Where: Wat Phra Phutthabat, Phutthabat District, Saraburi
Don’t miss the chance to participate in the one and only Floral Alms Giving Ceremony in Thailand, and also Saraburi most sacred and biggest ritual. Witness the Floral alms giving ceremony and candle festival at Phra Phutthabat. Take part in paying respect to spirit of King Song Tham ritual and watch a stunning floral parade.

Suphanburi 8-10 July 2017
Where: Wat Pa Leilai


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
An update with a summary of Khao Pansa events nation wide

Central Region

Chai Nat Long-tailed Boat Race
Date: 30 June – 9 July 2017
Venue: In front of Wat Phraya Tak and the City Hall, Mueang district, Chai Nat province
The long-tailed boat race takes place annually in Chai Nat province as a local way of celebrating Khao Phansa. This is the year’s main series of long-tailed boat races. Other activities for visitors include exhibition booths, stalls selling local products and handicrafts and a food fair with tasty treats.

Suan Phueng Candle Festival
Date: 1-9 July 2017
Venue: In front of Chat Pa Wai Tambon Administration Office, Suan Phueng, Ratchaburi
Highlights include a beautiful and creative floral floats competition, a parade of wax candles from several temples in the area and a fascinating exhibition that tells everyone about Buddhism and Khao Phansa festival. Visitors can also take part in merit-making activities which allow them to enjoy a unique first-hand experience of a local event and feel a closer connection with Thai culture.

Candle Festival in Kanchanaburi
Date: 7 July 2017
Venue: In front of City Hall of Kanchanaburi; Wat Tha Khanun in Thong Pha Phum district; Wat Nong Krathum in Bo Phloi district
Haui Krachao district in Kanchanaburi has its own unique celebrations to mark the beginning of the Buddhist Lent. Visitors can see the wax candle procession and contest, a Miss Candle contest and visit booths selling local and agricultural products. Also, Wat Tha Khanun in the Thong Pha Phum district will be the major venue for Buddhist followers to join merit-making activities such as offering food to monks. In the Bo Phloi district, there will be colourful parades taking the wax candles to present to Wat Nong Krathum.

Ayutthaya Aquatic Phansa Festival
Date: 8 July 2017
Venue: Lad Chado market, Ayutthaya
The ancient capital of Ayutthaya hosts very memorable Khao Phansa celebrations, as the candles are taken to the local temples in more than 200 colourful boats that float down the city’s ancient Lad Chado canal. Visitors can also enjoy a taste of rural life, beauty pageants, and local games.

Suphanburi Khao Phansa Candles Procession
Date: 8-10 July 2017
Venue: Wat Pa Laylai Woraviharn, Tambon Rua Yai, Mueang Suphan Buri
Students from local art colleges compete to put on the most impressive candle displays. There are huge sculptures depicting creatures and heroes from Thai myth and these are proudly paraded around town. Visitors also enjoy exhibitions about the ways of life of the local tribal people and colourful displays of folk dancing.

Saraburi Khao Phansa Festival
Date: 7-9 July 2017
Venue: Wat Phra Putthabat Ratchaworamahaviharn, Saraburi
During Khao Phansa in Saraburi, people visit the local shrine of the Buddha’s Footprint where yellow and white flowers are offered to monks (Tak Bat Dok Mai) as a way of making merit. This has become a big event and now thousands of people join to give alms to the monks as they ascend the steep stairs of the shrine.

Nakhon Sawan Candle Festival
Date: 8-9 July 2017
Venue: Khao Wai Phra Monastery and Wat Khao Mai Den, Tha Nam Oy subdistrict
Khao Wai Phra Monastery and Wat Khao Mai Den arrange more traditional Khao Phansa celebrations with a ceremony to offer candles to the monks and a fun candle decorating contest. There are also exhibitions of fascinating old photos contest and merit making activities.

Sing Buri Flowers Offering Festival
Date: 9-10 July 2017
Venue: Wat Chinda Manee, Phrom Buri district, Sing Buri province
The local people of Sing Buri will prepare five types of flowers together with three incense-sticks and one candle which are tied together and offered to the monks who then present the offerings to the Buddha image in the Ubosot building. Food and other offerings are also given to the monks in a timeless ceremony that all visitors will find enchanting.​

Northeastern Region

Nakhon Ratchasima Candle Procession
Date: 7-8 July 2017
Venue: Several places in Nakhon Ratchasima
Several districts of Nakhon Ratchasima will be holding activities to celebrate this important Buddhist event. Chokchai Candle Festival held at Chokchai Sports Stadium features a candle contest, local cuisine cooking demonstrations, cultural performances and a singing contest. Phimai Candle Festival will celebrate with a wax candle contest, a candle procession and folk performances; while the Mueang, or city district will also present a wax candle contest, a candle parade, and merit making activities which will be held between 7-9 July in front of the City Hall, Mueang district, Nakhon Ratchasima.

Surin Candle Festival
Date: 7-8 July 2017
Venue: In front of Provincial City Hall & Phraya Surin Phakdi Monument
Twelve temples of Surin town put on displays of carved candle wax effigies which are paraded in the streets, accompanied by traditional folk dances performed by locals in their finery. Most impressive is the parade of decorated elephants, which are vehicles for local monks as they parade around the town so people and visitors can give alms and make merit.

Nakhon Phanom Candle Festival
Date: 8-9 July 2017
Venue: Wat Phra That Phanom
The Lao-influenced culture of Nakhon Phanom gives a different twist to the Khao Phansa celebrations. The festival centres on the iconic local pagoda of Wat Phra That Phanom and there is always a procession of exquisitely carved candles to enjoy as well as the Miss Candle Beauty contest where local beauties hope to be named winner.

Ubon Ratchathani International Wax Candle Festival and Wax Candle Procession
Date: 8-9 July 2017
Venue: Ubon Ratchathani City Areas
The International Wax Candle Festival and Wax Candle Procession takes place in Thung Si Mueang Park, Ubon Ratchathani. Teams come from all over the world to compete and the detail on the wax artworks is staggering, with some being colossal in scale. It’s a great place to explore unique local cultures as the locals wear traditional dresses and show off their age-old folk dances.

Roi Et Khao Phansa Festival
Date: 8-9 July 2017
Venue: Somdej Phra Sri Nakarin-Roi Et Park, Roi Et
Highlights include a wax candle contest, a candle parade, Miss Candle contest, and demonstration of candle making. The event takes place at Somdej Phra Sri Nakarin-Roi Et Park and there will be tasty local snacks being sold to revelers.​

Northern Region

Lamphun Candle Festival and Wax Candle Contest
Date: 7 July 2017
Venue: Wat Phra That Hariphunchai
The highly-revered Wat Phra That Haripunchai in Lamphun province is a remarkable venue to witness Khao Phansa celebrations. There will be wax candle contest with creations made by youth groups and the local people of Lamphun as well as several merit-making activities taking place throughout the event.

Chiang Rai Candle Festival
Date: 9-10 July 2017
Venue: Suan Tung Lae Khom Chiang Rai Park & Chiang Khong district, Chiang Rai
Suan Tung Lae Khom Chiang Rai Park in Mueang district will feature a special religious ceremony in which a wax candle is made and then presented to the temple. There is the chance to join the Vien Tian ceremony in which the temple is circled three times to show respect to the Buddha relics. Meanwhile, Viang Chiang Khong subdistrict in Chiang Khong district will also have wax candle procession, a wax candle decoration contest and a ceremony to present the candles to community temples. There will also be a concert of Lanna music and cultural performances on 9 July.

Nan Candle Festival
Date: 10 July 2017
Venue: Bunyuen Royal Temple, Wiang Sa district, Nan
Visitors can join local people as they offer food to the monks in the morning. Later in the day, they can join the almsgiving of candles to the temple and take part in other merit-making activities that offer insight into the culture of Thai Buddhism.​