Phi Ta Khon Festival

21 Jun

Hello everyone! Do you know what festival features large colorful masks? Sukjai had a great opportunity to attend the Phi Ta Khon Festival this year in Loei Province, so Sukjai decided to tell you guys about the festival!

Phit Ta Khon Festival is a grand event held in Loei Province. The origin of the festival is believed to be from the legend of Vessantara Jataka. When the Vessantara and his wife Maddi were leaving the forest for the city, the forest spirits and animals shape shifted into the locals in order to see Vessantara off. Earlier the people called this incident ‘Phi Tam Khon’ which means ‘ghosts following humans’ in Thai, but as time passed the word had been altered to ‘Phi Ta Khon’ as in the present time.

Phi Ta Khon can be classified into two main categories: Phi Ta Khon Yai (meaning big) and Phi Ta Khon Lek (meaning small). Phi Ta Khon Yai consists of a colorful dress with huge mark made from local materials replicating the idealistic features of ancient ghosts, usually 2 – 3 times larger than average men. Each year, only two Phi Ta Khon Yais are made: male and female. The wearers of the dresses are selected from an accepted group of people. Ordinary visitors and the locals are allowed to wear Phi Ta Khon Lek dresses and enjoy in the colorful parade of Phi Ta Khon.

The festival well represents Thai arts and culture of the locals in Loei Province. The event this year will be held from June 22 to 24, 2012. If you have a chance to attend, please do not forget to take some photos for Sukjai! Now Sukjai is busy creating a Phi Ta Khon mask for the festival! Post later!

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