From Saturday until Oct 20, the Lai Rua Fai tradition will be performed on the banks of the Mekong near Sunthornijit Road, in Muang, Nakhon Phanom, to pay respects to the Lord Buddha, make merit for the late relatives of worshippers and promote local tourism.
Phra That Phanom.
Activities include a dance by people from seven ethnic groups to worship Phra That Phanom, the province's most important stupa, at Wat Phra That Phanom in That Phanom district at 8am on Oct 19, the procession of boats on the river starting at 6pm, and a local dinner called khao palaeng in front of Talat Indochina. There will also be a boat race, a parade contest and a contest to make beeswax temples as well as a Red Cross Fair, cultural performances, outdoor movie screenings and live music. Boonyanuch Wannaying, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's Nakhon Phanom Office, said Lai Rua Fai is a ritual that has been performed by Buddhists in Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Khai, Loei, Maha Sarakham and Ubon Ratchathani for centuries. It is also called long rua fai or ploi rua fai according to the movement of boats, made of banana tree trunks or bamboo and illuminated with a flame, floated along the river.
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