All An Adventurer Must Know About Thailand — страница 7

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Visakha Puja is the holiest of all Buddhist holy days, and marks the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. Merit-making and ceremonial are identical to Makha Puja, Fruits Fairs Countrywide These annual fairs feature delicious provincial fruits -including rambutan, durian, jackfruits and pomeloes, and feature cultural displays, exhibitions and folk art. Major provinces that celebrate fruits fairs include Rayong, Chanthaburi, Chachoengsao and Hat Yai in Songkhla. H.M. the Queen’s Birthday August 12. National holiday Nation-wide celebrations find particular focus in Bangkok where government buildings are decorated and illuminated at night with coloured lights. Ok Phansa & Thot Kathin During October. Ok Phansa celebrates the end of the Rains Retreat and introduces the

Kathin period when, throughout Thailand, the Buddhist laity present monks with new robes and other items deemed necessary for the monkhood’s upkeep during the forthcoming monastic year. Vegetarian Festival During October. Phuket islanders of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a vegetarian diet for nine days. The festival’s first day features a parade of white-clothed devotees and several ascetic displays. Boat Races October. The Kathin period marks the official end of the Rains Season and is the time for country fairs, many of which feature regattas. Nan, 790 kilometres north of Bangkok, has famous boat races, Other noteworthy regattas are held in Surat Thani, Phichit, Nakhon Phanom and Pathurnthani. Loi Krathong Full-moon night of November. This is Thailand’s loveliest

festival when under the full moon, Thais float away onto rivers and waterways, Krathongs, small lotus-shaped banana- leaf boats containing a lighted candle, glowing incense, a flower and small coin to honour, it is believed, the water spirits, and to wash away the previous year’s sins. Elephant Round-Up Third weekend of November, Surin, north-east Thailand. Some 100 elephants participate in this popular event. Between folk dances and traditional cultural performances, these versatile behemoths star in displays of time-honoured wild elephant hunts, demonstrations of intelligence, strength, gentility and obedience, and the spectacular re-enactment of a medieval war elephant parade. River Kwai Bridge Week Late November, early December, Kanchanaburi, western Thailand. Features a

thrilling son et lumiere show at the world-famous bridge. Archaeological and historical exhibitions, sparkling folk culture performances and rides on trains hauled by World War II vintage steam locomotives number among other attractions. H.M. the King’s Birthday December 5. National holiday. On December 3, the elite Royal Guards swear anew their allegiance to His Majesty King Bhumibol in a colourful and stirring ceremony in Bangkok’s Royal Plaza. On December 5, festivities occur throughout Thailand. Customarily, government buildings and houses are decorated with spectacular illuminations at night. Night-time Bangkok, particularly in the Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Grand Palace area, becomes a floodlit fairyland of coloured lights.