On the Monday I went on down to the festival to take some pictures of the candles for my readers. Now there are 3 parts of the festival as in the candle making competition. There is the international, the local and surrounding villages, and then the professional or temple candle makers.
The following pictures are all of the villages that made candles to parade for all to see. Some of the work is amazing when you look at the attention to detail and the intricate small carving made on some of the creations.
Just this first wax carving and the intricate carving and colouring of the wax was really beautiful. The realness of the sculpture was amazing, when you seen how they had carved some of the smallest details and you think how much work went into it, it’s impressive.
This one was of simple design but the base of the sculpture and the amount of detail was also unbelievable. It can’t be molded and would have to be carved and by hand.
This design also looks simple but again when you looked close a lot of detail went into it. The decorations surrounding it in green are many more than likely hundreds of banana leaves that are folded and pinned to make the designs, sort of like creating origami in a way but not with paper.
Behind this creature were 2 sculptures of people that were in a pose of praying but the strange part was, they were topless and had very large nipples. Again there was a lot of detail in this carving.
The amount of man hours that go into each candle and the pain staking tasks of putting it all together is a credit to all of the people who worked on the candles.
When you look at the different colours they have made the candles of. The melting and dying of the wax to make it the right colours and then creating the carvings would be a big task. For just the average village person it’s a huge credit to them.
This design was a brilliant bright yellow and had a would hate to know and even try and guess the amount of banana leaves folded and pinned to create this entry. I am pretty sure the leaf looking design at the top has something to do with HRH The King as this sort of design is on many of the yellow shirts you see Thai people wear.
Again this is another wax design with a lot of detail and thought that went into the project. The size of this was large for a village designs.
The next 2 pictures again of probably the most colourful wax design I saw at the festival. There were so many different colours to it and I think too many as it made it look a little gaudy, for me anyway. I was more impressed with the designs accompanying it and they looked very good.
These were 2 figures that were accompanying the colourful candle and when you like at the religious looking figure sitting in a meditation type pose and could see the detail of work on the figure it was impressive. Also the other figure that looks like it is paddling a boat or something and the intricate design of the skirt she was wearing you or especially I cannot even start to think how they created this.
The quality of the candles differed greatly depending on many things probably such as budgets and obviously the skills of the craftsmen and women. Even the designs that seemed basic because of the more elaborate ones still had parts that caught your eye and made you think how difficult it would have been to create it.
This design wasn’t strikingly beautiful as it was a bit wonky looking but the reason being was it was made of so many hundreds or maybe thousands of little pieces of carved wax shapes that were then pinned/nailed to the candle. It would have been a lot of work.
The next 2 pictures are of a design not huge in size but did look very nice and had a nice difference as it had young Thai men who carried it instead of being driven on the back of a truck.
Now accompanying this candle was one of Thailand’s finest “lady boys/Katoeys”. He/she looked really beautiful in full Thai dress and added a nice touch to the float and was of course very friendly and polite.
Again a simple looking design but very beautiful and a nice design.
Last but not least was a different design of a colourful creation but there were 2 plastic buffaloes that were supposed to be pulling the float. I didn’t think the actually design was overly fantastic but I really liked the buffaloes so they had to be included.
So all up the candles from the everyday Joe’s were impressive and I enjoyed walking around and spending time photographing and just admiring them. Also talking to many of the people accompanying the designs was good fun as well.
It is a must do at least once in your travels in Thailand and come to Ubon Ratchathani and see the candle festival in person. Even though it’s very busy and hot these are outweighed by the candles and even better the wonderful Isaan people.
P.S. Okay this post took me a lot longer as I want my posts to look more professional for my readers and to do this I wanted to start wrapping the text around the pictures and this takes a lot more work having to manipulate the hotmail codes.
I am getting the hang of it now and understand it a lot better and will hopefully create a better looking and easier to read blog for everyone.
Let me know what you think, I just like the idea of not having all the blank space between the pictures as it really is a waste of the space and I do like to post many pictures as I believe a picture is a 1,000 words.