At the close of the monsoon season, the thunderstorms that have lashed Bang Phlii become a flower shower, and a time for celebration.
A barge moves slowly down the town’s waterway, Khlong Samrong. Worshippers along the banks loft lotuses into it, so many that they nearly engulf its principal passenger: a large Buddha image. The image, a replica of the Luang Pho To in the nearby monastery, is the focus of this, the Rap Bua ceremony. Its journey recreates one of almost mythical proportions two centuries ago. Thousands of Thais flock here each year at the end of the rainy season to honour it.

And to have fun. In Thailand, solemn rituals are generally leavened with … well, levity, as though to relieve the sombreness of the rite. Folk dramas, sea boxing, his and her beauty contests, boat races, light-and-sound extravaganzas, food, and fairs are all an integral part of the rap bua festivities.

In 2011, the festival is scheduled for 8-11 October with the Lotus Throwing festival taking place on 11 October, starting from Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai.

For More Information:
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Bangkok Office
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500