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TRAVEL THAILAND » NORTHERN » NAN » Events and Festivals
 
 
Events and Festivals 
 
 

WAI PHRATHAT FAIRS

Nan is a Lanna town where Buddhism has been propagated for a long period of time. Therefore, within the compound of the ancient towns both in Mueang Nan district and Pua district stands a Phrathat located elegantly on a rise. Fairs to pay respect to major Phrathats are organised annually as follows:


HOK PENG WAI SA MAHATHAT CHAE HAENG FAIR

Hok Peng WAt Sa Mahathat Chae Haeng Fair is organised on the full moon day of the 6th northern lunar month which is the full moon day of the 4th central lunar month (around the end of February – March) at Phu Phiang district. In the fair, there is rocket lighting as an offering to the Lord Buddha.


PHRACHAO THONGTIIP BUDDHA IMAGE BATHING FAIR

Phrachao Thongthip Buddha Image Bathing Fair will be held at Wat Suan Tan, Mueang Nan, during the Songkran Festival on 12 – 15 April.


PHRATHAT KHAO NOI FAIR

Phrathat Khao Noi Fair is on the full moon day of the 8th northern lunar month or the full moon day of the 6th central lunar month (around May) at Mueang Nan district. There is a ceremony to pay respect to Phrathat Khao Noi and rocket lighting as an offering to the Lord Buddha.


TAN KUAI SALAK, KHUA TAN OR KHRUA THAN FESTIVAL

Than Salak or Kuai Salak, is an ancient tradition that has been passed on since the time of the Buddha. For northern people, it is considered as a major merit making ceremony and unique among the locals. Monks who come to receive offerings will be chosen from drawing lots.


NAN TRADITIONAL BOAT RACES

Nan Traditional Boat Races has been passed on since 1936 when a boat race was organised in the ceremony to present robes to monks at the end of the Buddhist Lent until the royal Kathin ceremony at present during mid – October or at the beginning of November every year. The opening day of the boat races is the similar day of the Salakkaphat offering ceremony to the monks by drawing lots arranged by Wat Chang Kham Worawihan which is a royal temple. The Salakkaphat offering ceremony will be conducted prior to the race. Therefore, the Nan Traditional Boat Races is considered the tradition that goes along with the Tan Kuai Salak Ceremony of Wat Chang Kham until the present time. Later, the province also added the celebrating ceremony of the black ivory, a precious treasure of Nan province. Moreover, there is another boat racing event organised in Wiang Sa district during the Tan Kuai Salak Festival.

Each boat in the races is made of a huge log. The distinguishing characteristic of the Nan racing boat is its engraved prow into a graceful Naga design, while its tail is similar to that of a Naga rising up. This is because the Nan people believe that their ancestors, Chao Khunnun and Chao Khunfong were born from the Naga’s eggs which are symbols of fertility. The boat construction in a Naga design is considered as a worshipping practice to the graciousness of the Naga, the master of the river and ancestor of the Nan people.

The races can be categorised into many groups; namely, large boats, medium ones, small ones, and beautiful ones. Moreover, there is a competition of the cheering team. Visitors who come prior to the races during the late afternoon will be able to see the locals and students gathering by the river to witness the rehearsal of the race, the cheering for boat teams and the local oarsmen which can reflect the colourful lifestyle and creativity of this interesting tradition.