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January 26, 2012

The Chula Kathin Festival


Chula kathin, a Buddhist festival also known as kathin laen, celebrates the end of Buddhist Lent and allows participants to earn merit through the offering of material for monks’ robes to the temple. Celebrated in villages throughout Thailand and neighboring countries in the past, this merit-making tradition used to be held annually, but over the years only a few communities continued to carry out this religious ceremony. In the last few decades, this rite has been revived in some areas. In northern Thailand, Mae Chaem District of Chiang Mai Province was one of the first areas to reintroduce this tradition, and the festival has been held in Chiang Rai on several occasions. In northeast Thailand, members of the Phuthai ethnic group living in different villages of Mukdahan Province have been the primary organizers of this local religious festival, and it also has been held in Sakon Nakhon Province.