The festival that opens the Buddhist Lent period when monks stay at their monasteries to pray, study and meditate, is picturesque and astonishing. Not only it features numerous parades showcasting the traditional beauty of Thai clothes, dances and song, but also huge floats of sculptures lit by candles. The sculptures show different aspects of religious life, while also often including "burning" long boats, that are highlights of traditional Thai festival. Moreover, this is the last day for a good party before the solemn full of prayer three months period will start.
The Candle Festival celebrates two major Buddhist events: Asahna Bucha and Khao Phansa. The date varies annually depending on the lunar calendar, but it usually falls in July. Asahna Bucha celebrates the day when Buddha delivered his first sermon at Benares in India. The following day is known as Wan Khao Phansa and marks the beginning of the three-month ‘Phansa’ (Buddhist Lent).