Get ready for an experience of a lifetime as the Red Cross Fair in the heart of Mueang district, located in the resplendent City Hall, comes to life with a riot of colours, exhibitions, and traditional performances. The fair is set to unfold a grand spectacle, a one-of-a-kind extravaganza, complete with a wide array of food options and gorgeous handicrafts. This is all, courtesy of Nakhon Phanom Office of the esteemed Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Adding to the vibrant festivities, Phanom Naga Park will be host to the mesmerizing the Illuminated Boat Procession Festival, also known as Lai Ruea Fai. Here you’ll be treated to a beautiful sight of two decoratively illuminated boats, which will be displayed daily until the final day of these joyous festivities.
Moving forward, on October 29, we invite you to partake in a traditional dance ceremony held in the honor of the sacred pagoda at Wat Phra That Phanom. After the dance, we’ll be proceeding with the well-anticipated exhibition of historic illuminated boats and Prasat Phueng (the wax castle), all of this will be followed by profound religious ceremonies.
The following day, Tak Bat Devo Festival is scheduled to take place at Phaya Si Sattanakarat Park, located near Phanom Naga Park. The festival will see an alms-offering event to mark the conclusion of the Buddhist Lent, another spectacle you surely wouldn’t want to miss!
The Lai Ruea Fai Festival, held annually during the 11th month of the lunar calendar, holds a particular significance for Thai Buddhists, who sail their illuminated boats down the Mekong River. This divine tradition allows locals to pay homage to Lord Buddha and to commemorate offerings to mystical beings known as ‘Naga’—the supposed residents of this mighty river and its numerous tributaries.
This ethereal ceremony is believed to have transformative powers; it’s said to wash away any lingering sadness and life’s hardships down the river while simultaneously ushering in an era of good fortune for every believer and participant.
As the festival approaches, the locals of Nakhon Phanom unite, igniting a sense of community spirit as they collaborate with Temple Buddhist Monks from each village to meticulously decorate the boats and rafts long before the festival commences. The boats are filled with flowers, food, handmade lanterns, incense sticks, and candles, symbolizing a hearty offering of their devotion.
Upon being lit, these illuminated boats shine bright against the dark tranquility of the night, creating a spectacular show of lights as they are launched into the legendary Mekong River. It’s undoubtedly a sight to behold!