Phi Ta Khon, one of the most colourful traditional festivals of Loei province, is a unique masked procession which takes place during a three-day Buddhist merit-making holiday known locally as Boon Prawat. This annual event, sometimes called The Ghost Mask Festival by foreign tourists, will be held from 16-18 June 2018 in the village of Dan Sai in Loei. The whole event is called Bun Luang, and the highlight of this unique festival is a long, colourful parade of young people who dance and strike poses while wearing huge masks made from carved coconut-tree trunks, topped with wicker work and sticky-rice steamers. These represent ghosts and as they parade they carry a sacred Buddha image. It is thought that the festival originated as a form of spirit worship with music and dancing to appease the spirits who protect the local villages and ensure plenty of rain for the upcoming harvest season.
Phi Ta Khon Festival in Dan Sai from 16-18 June 2018
Saturday 16th June 2018
(Phra Upakut Invocation and Cultural Ceremony)
4:00 a.m.– Invocation of Pra Upakut: Procession from Phon-Chai Temple to Mun and Sork River.
6:00 a.m.– Food Offerings to Monks at Phon-Chai Temple.
8:30 a.m.– Ba- Si (Summoning of Spirits) Ceremony at Chao Pho Kuan’s House.
10:00 a.m.– Cultural Ceremony at Phon-Chai Temple by Dan Sai Sheriff. Gathering for Phi Ta Khon procession and competitions among groups marching along Keaw Asa Road.
11:00 a.m.– Performances on the stage in front of Dan Sai District Office.
Sunday 17th June 2018
(Official Opening Ceremony and the Grand Phi Ta Khon Parade)
10:00 a.m.– Grand opening ceremony by Loei Governor in front of Dan Sai District Office.
– All parades move from Dan Sai District Office to Phon-Chai Temple.
1.00 p.m. – Performances on the stage in front of Dan Sai District Office.
– Phi Ta Khon competition (Final round).
3:00 p.m.– Ba- Si (Summoning of Spirits) Phra Wet at Chao Pho Kuan’s House.
3:30 p.m.– Phra Wet parade led by Chao Pho Kuan and Chao-Mae Nang Tiem to Phon- Chai Temple to make merit and firing of the Bamboo rockets.
– Phi Ta Khon mask discarding ceremony at Wang-wern pier, Phon-Chai Temple
7:00 p.m. – Buddhist sermons at Phon-Chai Temple.
Monday 18th June 2018
( Buddhist sermons– No Phi Ta Khon Dancing )
4:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. – 13 consecutive Buddhist sermons at Phon-Chai Temple
Parading of consecutive Buddhist sermons of all villages in Dan Sai District