Known as muang phra, the “city of monks”, Nakhon is still the religious capital of the south, and the main centre for festivals. The most important of these are the Tamboon Deuan Sip, held during the waning of the moon in the tenth lunar month (either Sept or Oct), and the Hae Pha Khun That, which is held several times a year, but most importantly on Makha Puja, the February full moon, and on Visakha Puja, the May full moon. The purpose of Tamboon Deuan Sip is to pay homage to dead relatives and friends; it is believed that during this fifteen-day period all pret – ancestors who have been damned to hell – are allowed out to visit the world, and so their relatives perform a merit-making ceremony in the temples, presenting offerings from the first harvest to ease their suffering. A huge ten-day fair takes place at Thung Talaat park on the north side of town at this time, as well as processions, shadow plays and other theatrical performances. The Hae Pha Khun That also attracts people from all over the south, to pay homage to the relics of the Buddha at Wat Mahathat. The centrepiece of this ceremony is the Pha Phra Bot, a strip of yellow cloth many hundreds of metres long, which is carried in a spectacular procession around the chedi.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Thailand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Consistently voted as one of the best places to travel by our readers – most recently as one of the world's friendliest countries and one of the best place…

05 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

9 essential tips for backpacking Thailand

Backpacking Thailand can mean staying in fun-packed hostels and idyllic beach bungalows, eating noodles so tasty and so cheap you’ll swear off all other food …

11 Apr 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month