The ‘Um Phra Dam Nam Festival’, one of the world’s most unique Buddhist festivals held annually in Phetchabun, is scheduled from 7 to 12 October at Trai Phum temple and at the pier of Bot Chanaman temple.
Translated from Thai, Um Phra Dam Nam literally means ‘diving while holding Buddha’s image’. According to local legend, the festival began when a group of fishermen failed to catch fish and took a rest on the river’s bank. Suddenly, the rapid waters occurred, and a Buddha image happened to float by. The villagers brought the image to the main temple of Phetchabun, but it then mysteriously disappeared before being found back at its original spot on the river. Hence, the locals have arranged a festival to pay respect ever since.
Now the Buddha image is brought back to the river each year so the villagers can dive into the river holding it in the hope of receiving a blessing of ‘abundance and nature’s balance’.
Normally, on day one of the festival, there will be traditional dances performed by around 2,000 dancers, most of whom are local residents and students, to show respect to the Buddha image named Phra Phuttha Maha Thammaracha. On the second day, the highlight is the Buddha image’s majestically paraded throughout the city, and dive into the river.
During the festival, there is also a humorous long boat rowing competition whereby the participants are required to row their boats upstream to win.
The agenda for this year is still to be confirmed for the latest exciting updates go to the festival’s Facebook page or TSB.MuangPhetchabun.
Municipality Office of Phetchabun
Tel: +66 (0) 56-711-007, +66 (0) 56-711-013
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