Phi Ta Khon Festival – Loei

Written by SIAMPEDIA on November 24th, 2009

© Frank P. Schneidewind

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Once every year, the small community called Dansai in the hills of Loei Province is the epicenter of ethnic festival activity in Thailand – it’s “Phi Ta Khon” time again and enthusiasts come from near and far into this one-horse-town. The ghost festival is being held in mid-summer once yearly and the spectacular event lasts 3 days. Parted well into a timely schedule most activity but the initial one are in daytime. The awakening every year is a nightly merit making ritual. The Tourism Authority of Thailand started to promote this festival, so foreigners do came in greater numbers every year. The website: www.tessabandansai.com has a schedule, Dansai is about 450 KM north of Bangkok. The last weekend in July is the most probable time for the following years.

 

The ghost masks are all handpainted and very colorful, the matching costumes hand-sewn.

Here, ancient buddhist rites were mixed with more modern fertility rites, the masks, shrouds and penile symbols are significant for it.

Many hundred kids of all ages participate in contests and a lot of activity centers around Wat Phon Chai.

Keaw-Asa road will be your prime spot for viewing and photographing the Phi Ta Khon in groups dancing and marching down this long street.

 

The richness in colors is endless and the proud participants give all they can to excel!

Groups often appear in matching colors to represent their clans.

The wooden penis-like symbols bring the fertility aspect.

But quite a few of the actors are minors

Some have bells attached to their backsides!

The prettiest ghosts are often done by female actresses (check the fingers!)

The woven baskettop is an affixed topping for the palm-produced faceparts.

Teams after Teams walk by and squirt their imaginary semen into the crowds.

 

The individual groups take collective rests, good photo-opportunities!

If you go there once, you sure won’t be there for the last time.

Locals make souvenir miniatures for sale.

And the ghosts love to pose for you for a photo.

 

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