In the evening they perform 'wian tian' that is circumambulate the temple clockwise carrying lit candles, incense and lotus flowers, a very nice spectacle to watch or join.
The festive atmosphere usually includes food; it is a time for great joy and happiness.
Visakha Bucha festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha at the end of the dry season.
The ceremony includes merit making; simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks laid at the feet of teachers & culminates in pouring holy water on the sacred Bodhi tree, an expression of devotion and respect as the Bodhi tree represents the place of enlightenment of Gautama Buddha.
This New Year water festival marks the start of the Buddhist calendar year; Thai, Mon, Karen, Burmese & Lao communities and visitors celebrate together in many locations in & around Sangkhla.
Many locals and visitors spend a day or two in Three Pagodas Pass where, on the Myanmar side of the border, the party is bigger, more exuberant and lasts longer; in the past few years, just for Songkran, non-Thai passport holders have been allowed to cross for the day and join in the fun.
The festival includes alms-giving, gift exchanges, paying polite respect to elders, lighting of candles, pagoda visits; all night outdoor entertainment, shows, games and stalls. Simple Krathong floats are made from banana tree trunks & leaves, decorated with flowers and a lit candle, loaded with wishes & worries then floated on the lake or a river in the evening under a full moon; then you watch it float away with it's cargo or wishes & worries; maybe some rice, charcoal, money, flour, incense & candles too for the spirits; elaborate designs are built by groups for fun & competitions. After the rains retreat when the monks stay in one place, they now move around; a procession of lay people carrying new robes and offerings to the temples to express gratitude to Buddhist monks & to support temple upkeep.
Highlights of the festival: Buddha statues, monks and lay people are linked by white cotton thread; chanting; making merit (thambun); robe offering ceremony; money trees; festival of lights; sharing of meals; traditional music & dance, food & other stalls.
There's just a two week window when the ripening grains are suitable for producing Khao Mao; the first farmer to produce Khao Mao is the winners.
Each temple can choose its own date for Tot Katin within the set month; there are quite a few temples in & around Sangkhla so it seems like a month long party & celebration.
It's a happy time of giving, generosity & sharing that's uplifting; it's an opportunity for meeting, having fun and eating together.
The Christian & Bhuddist Karen New Year eve celebrations coincide with the end of the rice harvest & typically include ceremony, dances, singing, speeches, and the consumption of lots of food and alcohol.
Chinese New Year is celebrated in Sangkhlaburi mostly at the local and visiting family level.Please check again for exact dates as they may change People come to Sangkhla to relax, find green peace & mind space. At many of the ceremonies and festivals you will see only Thai, Karen, Mon, Burmese & Lao; that is to say no foreigners, though they are always welcomed when they do come.