Wan Ok Phansa
|Wan Ok Phansa
|2016 date||October 16|
|2017 date||October 5|
|2018 date||October 24|
|Related to||Vap Full Moon Poya (in Sri Lanka)
Boun Suang Huea (in Laos)
Thadingyut (in Myanmar)
Wan Ok Phansa (Thai: วันออกพรรษา; literally "day of going out of Vassa", ออก in Thai meaning exit or leave) is the last day of the Thai-Lao observance of Vassa. It occurs in October, three lunar months after Wan Kao Pansa. In 2015 it was celebrated on 27 October; in 2016 it will be on 16 October.
The day is celebrated in Isan by illuminated boat processions (Thai: ไหลเรือไฟ lai ruea fai, Isan: ไหลเฮือไฟ lai huea fai), notably in Nakhon Phanom Province on the Mekong and in Ubon Ratchathani on the Mun River.
The main ceremonies feature boats of 8–10 metres in length, formerly made of banana wood or bamboo but now sometimes of other materials. The boats are filled with offerings such as khao tom (glutinous rice sweets wrapped in banana leaves) and decorated on the outside with flowers, candles and lamps. The boats are launched in the evening.
Additionally, some celebrants individually launch their own, smaller, vessels. Boat races also take place around this time in many places throughout the country as a way to please the Nāga spirits. Along the Mekong River, people launch little hot air balloons, acting as a lanterns, around the night of Wan Ok Phansa.
Launching the boats (or the lanterns) symbolizes your wishes but also getting rid of unnecessary negative feelings.