The Ghost Festival

Phi Ta Khon, sometimes known as Ghost Festival, is held in Dan Sai, Loei province, Isan, Thailand. Friday, June 26, 2015 – Sunday, June 28, 2015. The events take place over 3 days some time between March and July, the dates being selected annually by the town’s mediums.

1-Phi-Ta-Khon-(5)

The origins of Phi Ta Khon lie in an ancient story that claims Prince Vessantara (Buddha in his last life) took a long journey and was presumed dead by his followers. When he returned, the celebrations were so wild they woke up the dead.

“Phi” means ghost and “khon” means mask. In a re-enactment of the tale, the men of DanSai dress up as masked “spirits” wearing colorful long trailing costumes made from strips of cloth sewn together.

The famed masks, distinct to Loei and the Phi Ta Khon festival, are made of dried sticky rice husks and painted in bright colors. More than 20 families from Ban Kum village in Isan have no electricity, only utility poles were installed a decade ago but the power never came on. They complained so many times to so many state agencies with no response.

Villagers from Ban Kum in Khong Chiam district of Ubon Ratchathani pray at the base of a utility pole that has not delivered any electricity
Villagers from Ban Kum in Khong Chiam district of Ubon Ratchathani pray at the base of a utility pole that has not delivered any electricity

Yesterday, they turned to the spirits. They carried flowers to worship spirits at the base of one of the poles.
Let’s hope the spirits, answer these poor people’s prayers. Because the government is so busy with Bangkok’s Elite. Poor people in Isan don’t count. Let the spirits bring the power on and their simple dream of electricity in year 2015 become true. Light it Up!

A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones


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