The annual Rap Bua Festival, meaning ‘ritual of receiving lotus flowers’, is a one-of-a-kind ancient Buddhist tradition celebrated in Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan province.
The Rap Bua tradition has passed down through generations as a way of showing generosity to newcomers while preserving a local way of life along the river. It takes place annually on the day before the waxing moon on the 11th month of the lunar calendar, which this year falls on 5 October.
So on 4 October, 2017, there will be a magnificent barge procession with a replica of Luang Phor Toh statue, which is highly-revered by those in Samut Prakan. Visitors can join the local people in throwing lotus flowers into the vessel carrying the Buddhist image as it moves along a canal as a sign of respect, believing that if their lotus flowers lands on the revered image their wish will come true.
In the past young men and women used this opportunity to make a wish for their soul mate, now this festival is often overlooked. Therefore, Bangphli District Administrative Organization is coordinating to promote the conservation of this time-honoured tradition for the next generations.
The merit-making ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent or Ok Phansa will take place on 5 October, followed by the Tak Bat Devo on 6 October.