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Ghost Festival – Thailand – Phi Ta Khon » Thai Guide To Thailand


The Ghost Festival known as Phi Ta Khon is an annual Festival held in Dansai, Loei province in the North East of Thailand.


In 2011, the Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival will be held on the 24th to the 26th June. The Ghost Festival is a part of the celebrations for the Buddhist Festival of Bun Luang, during which there are merit making ceremonies, processions and folk music. Throughout the extraordinary Phi Ta Khon Festival, the townspeople of Dansai, young and old, will wear traditional ghost masks and parade through the streets accompanied with music and dancing.

In addition to the traditional masks, Dansai’s Thai ghosts wear square “cowbells” around their waist to warn people of their arrival. Many of the ghosts at the Phi Ta Khon Festival will also carry wooden weapons shaped like an oversize Phallus similar to Palad Khik, with a red painted head which they use to tease their audience.

Phi Ta Khon

Phi Ta Khon



Competitions are held for the best dressed ghost, best dancers, best masks and best little ghost etc, and of course there are costumes and masks on sale everywhere. On the 2nd day, rockets are launched to encourage the Gods to send the rains, and on the 3rd day the people gather at the temple to listen to the monks reciting the 13 sermons of the Lord Buddha before the Ghost Festival sadly comes to an end.

The origin of the Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival comes from the tales about the Lord Buddha’s last life before he reached enlightenment. Legend has it that when Prince Vessandorn (as the Buddha was then known) returned to his city after being banished, he received such a rapturous welcome from all his people that even the spirits of the departed were woken and joined in the celebrations.

Phi Ta Khon

Phi Ta Khon

Phi Ta Khon

Phi Ta Khon

Phi Ta Khon

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One Response to “Ghost Festival – Thailand – Phi Ta Khon”

  1. Snap says:

    I’d love to be in the Loei area for the Phi Ta Khon festival. I saw some of the wonderful masks when we rode through that area and have been trying to hunt one down in or around Chiang Mai…no luck yet!

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