Bua Tong Blossom Festival
Each year in November, the hillsides of Khun Yuam and Mae Sariang
districts are filled with a host of golden Bua Tong Blooms. As gay
as a daisy and almost as large as a sunflower, the Bua Tong only
blossoms for a month.
At Doi Mae U-Kho, the blossoms appear profusely. Finally, the golden
blooms become part of the scene. Some specialists have classified
these Bua Tong as weeds and because of this, they may be cleared
to make way for cash crops. Fortunately a group of researchers have
discovered the flowers insect-repellent properties. And perhaps
that is why the Bua Tong, a symbol of Mae Hong Son, is still preserved
on the hillsides.
Chong Phara Procession
The Chong Phara in the Thai Yai dialect means a castle made
of wood, covered with colourful perforated papers and decorated
with fruits, flags and lamps. It is placed in the courtyard of a
house or a monastery as a gesture to welcome the Lord Buddha on
his return from giving sermons to his mother in heaven, according
to traditional belief. Other activities to celebrate the occasion
include dances where performers are dressed in animal costumes.
The rite is held during the post rain retreat season from the full-moon
day of the 11 the Lunar month (around October) to the waxing moon
night of the same month.
Loi Krathong Festival
Loi Krathong Festival is held on the full moon night in the month
of November every year. Villagers make krathongs to float in rivers.
At Nong Chong Kham, various entertainments and a contest of large
krathongs are held near the central pond. Lamps and candles are
lit all around the area. Moreover, at Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu,
there is a ceremony of releasing candle-lit krathongs bound with
balloons to the sky (known as Loi Krathong Sawan).
Poi Sang Long Procession
This is in fact the celebration of novice ordination which the
Thai Yai tribe people hold to be a highly meritorious occasion.
Traditionally, the candidate-novice, his head cleanly shaven and
wrapped with head-cloth in the Burmese style, will don a prince-like
garment and put on valuable jewels and gems, and ride a horse or
be carried over the shoulders of a man to the city shrine. On the
ordination eve, a procession of offerings and other necessary personal
belongings will be paraded through the town streets and then placed
at the monastery where the ordination will take place the next day.
It is usually held during March-May before the Buddhist Rain Retreat
Tea Tasting Festival
This is anually held in February to promote tea products of
the Rak Thai village. The activities include hot tea tasting, tea-making
demonstrations combined with cultural shows. Visitors can also enjoy
riding a horse around the village.