One of the most popular events held to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, the 63rd annual Wax Castle Festival takes place from October 3-8 in Sakon Nakhon Province.
Festival highlights include traditional long-boat races staged over the 3-5 October in which as many as 100 crews, including visiting boats from neighbouring Laos, compete for the HRH Princess Sirindhorn Cup. Then on the 7th October a huge parade of wax ‘castles’ – well, anything from ornate trees to elaborate carvings of Buddhist temples and shrines fashioned from beeswax by local artists – takes place through the town centre. The procession is also a backdrop for many cultural performances highlighting the province’s rural way of life.
As well as marking the end of Buddhist Lent and the rainy season, the Wax Castle Festival is used by the people from all over north-eastern Thailand to pay homage to Phra That Choeng Chum, a major sacred monument in Sakon Nakhon.