While Westerners go trick-or-treating at Halloween night, villagers in Dan Sai district Loei province have their own fun spiritual celebration with the ghostly Phi Ta Khon festival that takes place from June 24 to 26.
Known locally as Bun Luang, this ghost-inspired carnival features several processions of villagers dressed in vivid costumes and huge ghost-inspired masks fashioned from carved coconut-tree trunks, topped with wicker sticky-rice steamers that make them taller and more grotesque.
The event is believed to have its origins in a fertility festival but these days it’s part of a two-day merit-making ceremony and is now one of the most popular festivals in Thailand’s Northeast along with the Yasothon rocket festival.
Visitors can also take part in other fun activities including the Phi Ta Khon mask contest, a Junior Phi Ta Khon contest, a recitation of the 13 sermons of Phra Vessandorn, a former incarnation of the Lord Buddha, and exhibitions both on the festival and the region. There will be a walking street offering local favourites and handcrafted products by local artisans.