Phi Ta Khon Festival - Dan Sai - 2018

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
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It's 584 kms from Chiang Khong to Dan Sai & not a great deal longer than from Chiang Mai it seems.

It was a two stage ride for me.

Chiang Khong - Uttraradit
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Get away time from Chiang Khong was 11.30AM & arrival time in Uttaradit was 5.30PM

Uttraradit - Dan Sai
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Get away time was 10.45 & arrival time in Dan Sai was 2.30PM

it's a start...

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DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,260
2,554
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
The Phi Ta Khon Festival is one hell of an amazing festival that I keep saying this is the last one, but I always have such a great time with old friends, that each year when it comes around it's hard to say no, I'm not going. I must be out to over 15 PTK festivals now & they sort of have become a blur.
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What blew me away this year was an old friend that I used to flirt with when she was still at college; she's since been married, had kids, divorced & re-hitched again. And this year I was introduced to her daughter, now 20 years of age & what a honey, but OMG how time has flown by....

"Khun Roderick Page" gave me a bit of stick last year for not seeing the early morning spirit ceremonies that kick off the festivals, so I endeavoured to remain sober & get some happy snaps......gday Rod!

Whilst most people rock up on Saturday for the parades, the action starts at 4AM Saturday morning at the house of the village spiritual leader Jao -por Guan.

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Villagers gather here before sunrise to go to the Mun river that runs through to town, where a man dives into the muddy waters of the river to pick up a white pebble that symbolises a revered spirit known as Phra Upakud. Phra Upakud was a monk with supernatural powers, who reached the highest level of meditation, to attain eternal life.

Endowed with the power to assume any physical or spiritual form he chose, he chose to become a white marble and to live in complete solitude in a peaceful environment in the waters of the Mun River in Dan Sai. The villagers believe that only Phra Upakud can protect the village from evil spirits once the right pebble is collected from river bed it is consecrated by the leader of the Saen, (a group of male mediums with a group of four female servants). It's a very intricate ceremony and a bit hard to follow.

The morning parade gets under way to first go to the temple
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Here's there's some dancing & music to wait for or pick up (or wake up) the leader of the Saen at the wat.
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then it's off to the muddy river, following the leader of the Saen. (?)
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down at the river bank a candle is lit & offerings made
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The leader of the Saen then sits in a sala & prayers are made
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Once the prayers are finished it's time for a man to dive into the muddy river in the dark & pick up the right pebble that represents the Phra Upakud.

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The man in the river has to bring up several pebbles before the village chorus agrees he's got the right one. .

More to come.
 
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