Candles illuminate Ubon Ratchathani's cultural history
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Candles illuminate Ubon Ratchathani's cultural history

Candles illuminate Ubon Ratchathani's cultural history
(Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The northeast town of Ubon Ratchathani looks to share its Isan cultural legacy with a return of the annual Candle Festival from July 11-17 to mark Khao Phansa Day -- the start of Buddhist Lent.

Buddhist pilgrims provide monks with food and essentials, like saffron robes and lights, since they aren't allowed to leave their temples for three months, in order to study the dhamma and meditate without interruption.

(Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Younger generations are welcome to see and learn how to carve wax candles using the ancient techniques as a group of expert artists prepare for the upcoming festival at temples this week. Each artwork is approximately 11m long and 3m wide and depicts the Lord Buddha's life, mythical Himmaphan creatures and the Ramakien epic.

This year, the striking wax candle procession will march around town on its way to Thung Sri Muang, which is situated in the heart of Ubon Ratchathani. Villagers from five communities will showcase their way of life and identities through cultural performances, candle casting and candle-making demonstrations, and the sale of local products.

(Photos: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

On July 13, a candle ceremony, a candle competition, a nightly parade with artistically carved candles, and a vibrant light and sound display will illuminate Wat Si Ubon Rattanaram and the grounds in front of the ancient city hall.

The winners of the candle competition will be announced the next day, along with a procession of artistically carved candles. The collection of wax candles will be on display at participating temples throughout the month, and from July 13–15, the Ban Khampun weaving centre will open its doors to welcome visitors with an exhibition of vintage weaving equipment and live demonstrations of traditional silk weaving.

(Photo: Patipat Janthong)

Find out more details, call 045-243-770, 045-250-714 or visit

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