Traditional Festival postage stamps from Thailand

The Thai Post has issued a series of stamps entitled "Reflection of Thai way of life". The stamps illustrate different traditional Thai festivals.

First stamp: Loy Krathong and Candle Festival (Sukhothai Province). This festival has been held as far back as Sukhothai period. In the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng, it was known as "Jong Parien ceremony" or "Loi Phra Prateep". There was a mention in the Stone Inscription No.1 that this was largest festival in Sukhothai city, which led to a belief that this must be the same festival as Loi Krathong.

Second stamp: The Festival of Illuminated Boat Procession (Nakhon Phanom Province). The Festival of illuminated Boat Procession or locally known as Lai Rua Fai is an important festival held by the northeasterners to celebrate the end of Buddhist lent on the 15th vexing moon night or the 1st waning moon night of the 11th lunar month of each year. "Rua Fai" is a boat made from banana trunks or bamboos of 5-6 wah tied together. Sweets and any items people want to donate are placed in the boat. The boat exterior is decorated with the flowers, incense sticks, candles, lamps and torches to be lighted before the boat is released into a canal or river. This is the origin of the name "Lai Rua Fai".

Third stamp: Yi-Peng Festival (Chiang Mai Province). This stamp depicts the 12th Lunar Month Full Moon Festival of Lanna Thai (the northern region) which is known as Yi-Peng. On the day of Yi-Peng, people decorated Buddhist temples and their houses with banana trees, sugar cane, coconut fronds, Tung flowers, and Chor Prateep. Various style of paper lamps called Khom Yi-Peng are hoisted high as offerrings to the Lord Buddha. Small bowl lamps are lighted as offerings to the Three Gems of Buddhism while floating paper lamps are lighted and released into the sky as offerings to Phra Ketkaew Chulamanee in heaven.

Fourth stamp: Loi Krathong Sai (Tak Province). Tak Province organizes Loi Krathong Sai festival on the full moon of the 12th lunar month of each year. Latex of Yang trees is mixed with wood chips, formed into small balls and placed at the bottom of halved coconut shells. On the nights of the festival the latex balls are lighted and floated in the Ping River at regular interval, forming long rows of flickering lights above the water. These coconut shells (krathong) will eventually flow out of the audiences' sight. It is believed that participants and spectators of this festival will be blessed with what they wished for during the festival.

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