the celebration before Buddhist Lent
07.08.2010 100 °F
The Candle Festival.
I feel like there should be a lot to say about the Candle Festival—I mean, as the biggest event in Ubon, it should have more stories behind it than mine seems to. Don't get me wrong, the festival was awesome, just not particularly story filled.
Ubon's iconic giant candle statue in the middle of the park.
(that says Ubon Classic on the windshield)
The general scene:
Everything was centered around the park, which was loaded with food stalls, a carnival, a market, and people. The main stage was there, though I didn't watch any of those performances. The main street was shut down for the parading of the candles and the dancers. I have some videos to give you the full effect (the music is necessary) and will load them once not hindered by a fire wall.
At the museum, they had all kinds of cool, wax related art.
How it's done
Me, looking tall with the Chinese teacher.
The candles were enormous! Wats from around the around have been working for months, carving these giant wax sculptures. The tradition originated from the days when people would donate candles to give the monks light during the rainy season, but I'm not too sure when the crossover from practical candles to "Woah, that's a crazy candle" was made. The transportation of these things must have been horrendous. I mean, I was drove behind our Mardi Gras float down I-10 at 40 mph, but that pales in comparison.
And with music! The candles never went anywhere without music.
The first parade was at night. Ericka had come in from Phitsanolok and we grabbed seats under the covered area. Excellent for watching, not too great for photos. Some attempts:
Yes, it was raining.
Candle Float! pulled by a tractor!
After the parade, I made it back to the candle parking grounds and snagged some close ups.
Most of the candles play out different religious scenes. You'll see some of the detail in later photos.
The next morning they did it all again, this time not in the rain but in the incredibly hot temperatures.
The Thai parade route. Study this picture for a moment--the positions, the fashion styles. Remember all of this so as not to make fun of me on my return.
These dancers were depicting normal life in Isaan... all of their props are used for fishing.
How they keep the candles from melting.
Not quite marching band, is it Dane?
THE PINK FLOAT.
That's the king.