Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

sHARE TO facebook twitter mail
expdetail

Ubon Ratchathani float. Image courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

At the onset of Buddhist Lent in July, the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani hosts the Candle Festival. One of the biggest festivals in the province, it’s a time when huge and elaborately carved candles are paraded throughout the city on Khao Phansa Day.

The candle procession traces its roots to the practice of giving Buddhist monks a bundle of small candles along with other basic needs to use during the three-month lent when they can’t leave the temple grounds. Over time, the candles grew more elaborate and during the reign of King Rama V in the 19th century, the Candle Festival was established.

The festival is one way for visitors to see many Thais’ devotion to Buddhist tradition—not to mention their serious skills in carving candles. (If you visit days before the parade, a stop by one of the temples might give you a peek into how they do it.) Different temples, districts, and other groups all throughout the country participate with their lavishly carved candle floats. Some are a jaw-dropping 20 meters long, many portray scenes from Buddhist and Hindu mythology, and all feature painstaking, intricate details.

After you’ve picked up your jaw from the ground from the impressive works of wax, there are also a number of cultural shows and exhibitions of handicrafts made by local artisans to catch. As with any Thai festival, there’s plenty of mouth-watering food. Don’t miss out on the fiery Isan dishes that Ubon is known for, such as the laap ped (a spicy minced duck salad with roasted chilies) or tom saep (spicy pork soup).

You Might Also Like…

For similar festivals that honor nearby bodies of water, visit Cambodia's River Festival; Indonesia's Lake Toba Festival; and Myanmar's Hpaung Daw Oo Festival. For other festivals in the month of November, visit Myanmar's Tazaungdaing Light Festival and Cambodia's Bon Om Touk (Water Festival).


TOUR packages

View All
Splendid Thailand & Angkor Wat, Cambodia
tour packages

Bookended by Bangkok in Thailand and Siem Reap in Cambodia, this epic tour of two Kingdoms in Southeast Asia must be experien...

VIEW DETAILS
Ancient Kingdoms: Yogyakarta & Melaka
tour packages

Exploration of Southeast Asia's most venerable sultanates and their respective histories, from Yogyakarta in Indonesia to...

VIEW DETAILS
Six Cities, 12 Days Tour
tour packages

Yangon in Myanmar; Chiang Mai in Thailand; Luang Prabang in Laos Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia; and Ho Chi Minh City (...

VIEW DETAILS

PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
See Koh Phi Phi and Maya Bay on us
tour packages

Explore Phuket’s beautiful islands and stay at Villa Saan - a dream home perfect for entertaining.

VIEW DETAILS
Resorts World Sentosa F&B
tour packages

Resorts World Sentosa Singapore F&B Treats

VIEW DETAILS
Explore Phang Nga Bay and famous James Bond Island & Ko Panyi aboard a private yacht
tour packages

Bring your entourage and explore Phang Nga Bay aboard your own private yacht while staying at Ocean’s 11 Villa.

VIEW DETAILS

SPECIAL AIRFARE

View All
The Best Way To See Asean
tour packages

Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
Melia Hotel Kuala Lumpur
tour packages

Ideally located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, be one of the first to experience the newly renovated roo...

VIEW DETAILS
Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel
tour packages

Voted one of Singapore’s Top 10 Luxury Hotel, Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore offers business and leisure travellers, th...

VIEW DETAILS
Panglao Bluewater Beach Resort
tour packages

Bluewater Panglao creates a luxurious escape that honors Bohol’s natural beauty. Nestled in an island with white-sand b...

VIEW DETAILS