Sometime in June 2010 when the school had just opened for barely about a month, my boss together with some faculty members of the Foreign Language Department of my school asked me if I would like to go with them to send off a teacher who just got absorbed in the government service and was moved to another school. Of course, I did not give it a second thought because it was an opportune time to visit the countryside for free.
We headed to Loei Province which is located in the northeast part of the country. My fellow teachers cum my tourist guide told me that Loei is one of the remarkable tourist destinations in Thailand and is better known for its spectacular natural beauty and unique tradition and culture.
This province is the home of one of Thailand’s most prominent celebrations called Phi Ta Khon Festival which is annually celebrated at Dan Sai District of Loei. Phi Ta Khon (Ghost Festival) is also believed by the locals to be a rain-making ceremony where participants wear a ghost mask made of a colorful bamboo sticky rice steamer, and dress in a costume made of many pieces of fabric sewn together. The masked “ghosts” have a special bell that they wear around their waists.
At Dansai Museum where we stopped by, I saw many colorful masks which were exact replica of what they actually use during the street parades. Some of those masks were pretty nice while some were pretty scary too. There were giant mascots also which reminded me of those festival giants in the Philippines during the Sinulog.