The Fire Boat Procession(Lai Reua Fai) is a renowned tradition of Nakhon Phanom Province, unique in Thailand. It is considered a major merit-making event in the Northeastern region and has become an annual tradition for the people of Nakhon Phanom. The event takes place along the banks of the Mekong River, which is vital to the livelihood of the people in Nakhon Phanom. ThaiLandCONNEX invites you to explore the fascinating aspects of this event.
The Fire Boat Procession is a long-standing tradition passed down from generation to generation in the Isaan region. Locals in the Isaan region refer to it as "Heua Fai" rather than "Ruea Fai," emphasizing the fire aspect. It is usually held after the end of Buddhist Lent, on the 15th day of the 11th lunar month. This tradition is rooted in various activities like paying respect to the Lord Buddha's relics, inspecting the Chulamani Stupa, and commemorating the kindness of the Mother Goddess. Additionally, it is associated with rain-seeking rituals, the burning of suffering, and Buddha image veneration.
The Fire Boat Procession involves crafting vessels using natural materials and enhancing their beauty with intricate patterns and decorations made from bamboo. The boats are constructed to be buoyant and balanced. The decorative elements are then soaked in oil to serve as the fuel for the flames.
This year's Nakhon Phanom Fire Boat Procession is scheduled to be held from October 20th to October 30th, 2566 (Buddhist Era). It is a grand event spanning 11 days and 11 nights. In addition to the beautiful fire boats, the event features cultural performances, food stalls, and local souvenirs that reflect the simplicity and Isaan way of life. If you plan to visit and witness this event, make sure not to miss the competition on October 29th when boats built by different communities in each sub-district will be showcased along the Mekong River's banks.