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Photographer's Note

picture taken during the 2008 candle festival parade in That Phanom

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Khao Phansa - or the Candle Festival - comes with the arrival of the eighth lunar month in July and is celebrated by Thai Buddhists all over the kingdom, but the most colorful celebrations can be found in the North-East (Isaan), particularly in Saraburi and Ubon Ratchathani.

'Khao Phansa', in Thai, refers to the beginning of the Buddhist Lent. During this time, Buddhist monks are restricted to their temples for a period of three months. Young men over 20 years, who have not yet ordained as monks, may take this opportunity to enter the monkhood to observe Buddhist teachings.

On the day of the festival, candles of various size and shape are paraded around town on colorful floats, accompanied by displays of religious devotion. After the procession, they are presented to local temples.

And there's lots of song and dance too.

(But banging drums is serious business.)

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2822 W: 35 N: 5833] (30952)
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