Phimai festival 2017

This year’s Phimai festival takes place from the 8th to the 12th of November 2017.

Events and activities include a Korat cat contest, a cultural show at Phimai historical park and longboat racing. Longboat racing will take place during the last 2 days of the festival – the 11th and 12th of November 2017 – in the usual location, Lam Jakarat. You can view the racing along the sides of the river and from the bridge on Anantachinda Road.

Phimai festival 2017

Teams have been out practising for the long boat racing.

Phimai festival 2017

Come along next month and cheer them on and enjoy the Phimai festival.

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Phimai festival 2015

The annual Phimai festival takes place this year from the 11th to 15th November 2015.

Pimai festival 2015

Events include long boat racing, a Korat cat contest, music concerts and a musical show each evening at the Phimai historical park. Other events will take place and in the centre of the town stalls have been set up that will sell food, drinks and various other items.

Longboat racing Phimai festival Thailand

The long boat racing this year is scheduled for Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November in the usual location in the town, Lam Jakaraat. Good views of the racing can be had along the sides of the river and from the bridge on Anantachinda Road.

Phiami festival 2015 music concerts

There will be a series of music concerts for five days of the festival – from 11 to 15th November. The Mahahing band kicks off this years concerts on 11 November, Pongsit Kampee will perform on 12th November, Ja Gan Hoo on the 13th November, Labanoon will play on 14th November, and Wong Gang-geng play the final concert on 15th November.  Come to Phimai and enjoy the festival.

Loy gratong in Phimai

The loy gratong festival takes place in Thailand in November when there is a full moon. Loy Gratong literally means “float gratong”. A gratong is typically a small decorated receptacle made from banana leaves and a piece of banana tree trunk, although sometimes they are made of other materials (foam, for example) and sometimes they are very large. The gratongs are floated in rivers, canals, ponds and anywhere else there is water.

Loy gratong PhimaiYou can make your own gratong or you can buy one. You will find many people selling them. Prices vary depending on size. 20-30 baht is common but bigger ones can cost more.

loy gratong in PhimaiA candle on the gratong is lit and often a small coin is also placed on the gratong. Traditionally Thais floated a gratong as an apology for any harm they have done to water in the last year but nowadays people usually make a wish as they launch their gratong.

floating a gratong in PhimaiThe scene can be a beautiful sight for a few hours but in the morning the water is in a  worse state than 24 hours before.

Kratong launch site PhimaiThe loy gratong festival usually includes food, markets, music, singing, dancing and games.

dance show loy gratong PhimaiFireworks are also let off and so are floating lanterns.

fireworks in Phimai for loy gratong

Loy kratong - launching lanterns in PhimaiEnjoy the loy gratong festival in Phimai today,  the 6th of November 2014.

Phimai festival 2014

The annual Phimai festival will be held this year from the 5th to 9th November 2014.

Phimai festivl 2014 phimai.wordpress.comEvents include long boat racing, a Korat cat contest, a bird contest, singing, Thai dancing and a show at the Phimai historical park. Other events will take place and in the centre of the town stalls have been set up that will sell food, drinks, clothing and various other items.

Phimai sound and light showTomorrow, 5th November, there will be a Thai puppet show in the historical park. It is scheduled to start at 6pm.

Longboat racing Phimai festival ThailandThe long boat racing this year is scheduled for 6-9 November in the usual location, Lam Jakarat. Good views of the racing can be had from the bridge on Anantachinda Road.

Concerts Phimai festivalThere will be a series of music concerts on each day of the festival. Bank from Clash will appear on 5th November, Family Valentine on 6th November, Labanoon on 7th November, Malihuanna on 8th November and Wong Gang-geng on 9th November.

Korat cat contest PhimaiThe Korat Cat contest takes place in the afternoon of Saturday 8th November in the local government building (amper). The bird show takes place on Sunday 9th November.

 

Phimai candle procession 2014

In Phimai, as in some other towns and cities in Thailand, a parade or procession is held which is commonly called a candle festival or candle procession. It is a procession or parade of wax decorated floats which have a large candle making up part of the decoration.

Candle parade Phimai 2014

Local temples and people in the local community decorate floats with figures that mostly show Buddhist related themes.

candle procession winner Phimai

The decorated floats are judged and prizes are given to the winners of each category. One of this year’s winners was the float from wat burapa-pimon – shown above and below.

candle procession winner wat bung Phimai

There are also prizes for groups of people from local communities who dress up and enter the parade either walking or with a float. In the morning, the procession goes around the old part of the town starting and finishing at the Town Clock. Prize winners are announced in the area near the Town Clock, marked in dark red on the map below.

Phimai candle procession route 2014

Candle processions in Thailand take place around the start of Buddhist Lent (kao pansa – เข้าพรรษา). The start of Buddhist Lent in 2014 is 12 July. The candle procession in Phimai takes place the day before Buddhist Lent, which is today, 11 July 2014,

Phimai candle procession sign 2014

In Korat, the candle procession will take place tomorrow,  12 July in 2014, the start of Buddhist Lent in Thailand. Buddhist Lent in Thailand continues for three months. The end of Buddhist Lent (ork pansa – ออกพรรษา) in Thailand in 2014 will be on 8 October.

Songkran in Phimai – 2014

The annual Songkran festival takes place each year on 13th, 14th and 15th April. The festival celebrates the Thai new year, which is on 13th April.

There are different aspects to Songkran in Thailand. One is considered the traditional aspect to it, which is the gentle and respectful pouring of water over the hands of ‘seniors’, senior either in age or status, or of other people you respect (parents or teachers, for example). This side of Songkran is popular with the older generation.

Songkran in Phimai 2014

Some Thai Buddhists also take the opportuity to ‘make merit’ by giving things such as food, flowers and money to monks. In Phimai, lots of people gathered together to do this at the town clock at 8am on 13 April. See picture above.

Songkran water fun

Another aspect to the festival is throwing water at people. Arguably, this is the most popular aspect of Songkran, especially with the young or young at heart. As April is usually the hottest month in Thailand, this part is not only great fun for the participants, it’s also a great way to keep cool for a few days while letting go of your inhibitions. Many people use water guns to soak other people while others use buckets or smalll plastic bowls to scoop up water to throw at others. Water fights take place on road-sides up and down the country. See picture above.

Invariably there are many traffic problems during the Songkran festival. Some parts of towns and cities in Thailand become gridlocked with traffic crawling along and people singing, dancing and throwing water at each other throughout the day. In Phimai town, the roads near or leading to the Banyan tree area seemed to me to have the most cars and revellers this year. Thai authorities encourage people to end each day’s water throwing at about 6pm or 7pm. By that time, the loud music is usually greatly reduced.

Some Thai language appropriate to the Songkran festival:

(สวัสดีปีใหม่) – sawat-dee bpee mai = Happy New Year

(สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์) – suk-san wan song-graan = Happy Songkran

(สนุก) – sanuk = fun