Tak Bat Dok Mai is a flower making festival held in Phra Phutthabat district of Saraburi province in Thailand around mid-July and is different from other ‘merit-making’ festivals in Thailand because it is focused on special offerings of the Dok Khao Phansa flowers, which bloom at this time of year (the Bhuddist Lent period), primarily in Saraburi province.
Observed since ancient times, Tak Bat Dok Mai centres around the Shrine of the Holy Footprint (Wat Phra Bhuddabat Woamahavinarn), a much revered holy site for Thai Bhuddists.
On the first day of the festival, the monks at the temple receive food offerings from the villagers in the surrounding areas. Later on the first day, young couples go out into the surrounding hillsides to gather the Dok Khao Phansa flowers which are then presented to the temple in a candle-light procession in the evening.
Traditional music and dancing, like the long-drum dance, are performed in the temple grounds. There’s also folk dancing, traditional costumes, cultural performances and competitions. Hundreds of monks gather in long lines to accept the offerings before climbing to the top of the seven-tier temple shrine to present the offerings to the Bhudda. When they come down from the shrine, the people perform a ritual feet washing which is supposed to cleanse the sins of those performing the ritual.
After the Tak Bat Dok Mai festival, the temple monks begin a three month retreat, confining themselves to their monasteries for meditation.
Where is Wat Phra Phuttabat?
Wat Phra Phuttabat can be found in Saraburi, a central province of Thailand near Lopburi and Pathum Thani. See the map below for more details.