Wednesday, 27 July 2011
The Candle Festival
Candles to me are generally cylindrical or cubic, with a few arty exceptions, and can usually be carried in one hand. I do have a couple that might need two hands but that's as far as it goes. It wasn't until I looked more carefully at this card and tried to find out more that I realised the golden figures are in fact wax sculptures and known as candles. I don't think they have wicks though.
Every year Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand holds a month-long Candle Festival. It's held in July, marking the beginning of the Buddhist season of Lent, a time when the monks stay inside the temples to devote their time to study and meditation.
The highlight of the festival is the parade of intricately carved wax figures carried along in decorated floats. Some are accompanied by scenes carved in wood or plaster and then covered in wax. There is dancing and music too, of course. All the candles are donated to local temples.