Illuminated Boat Procession
As night falls, majestic 'fire boats', elaborately-adorned with flowers, incense sticks, candles and lanterns and each bearing an assortment of ritual offerings, are set alight and floated down the Mekong River.
Against the darkness of the moonlit night, the sight of flickering light from candles and lanterns on magnificent 'fire boats' drifting downstream on the Mekong River, is both mesmerising and awe-inspiring. It is this enchanting spectacle that has given the water-borne procession its very name - 'Lai Reua Fai', which literally means to set afloat a 'fire boat'.
The illuminated boat procession is celebrated in I-San, the northeastern region of Thailand on the 15th day of the waxing moon to the first day of the waning moon in the 11th lunar month of the Buddhist calendar, usually a month earlier than the corresponding month in the conventional calendar. This dazzling event marks the end of the Buddhist Lent or 'Ok pansa' and is accompanied by a colourful street procession and cultural performances which add to the highlights of the event which is held annually.