Merit-making in the South

From Sept 14-23, the "Bun Sat Duan Sib And Red Cross" fair will be held at the Princess Mother Memorial Park (Thung Thalat) and in front of the provincial hall and Muang Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipal Office in Muang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province. The fair has become an annual event since 1923.

The Bun Sat Duan Sib, or Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, is celebrated in the 10th Thai lunar month. It focuses on a merit-making ceremony to pay respect to ancestors. Based on animistic beliefs and Buddhism, pret (hungry ghosts) are imagined as tall, skinny and hungry since they have no one to make merit for them. After making offerings to the ghosts, merit-makers sit down to enjoy a feast. This is also a family occasion for people in the South who visit older relatives on this day.

The objectives of the fair are to promote and continue local traditions and knowledge, support tourism, boost people's unity and gratefulness to ancestors, raise funds for the Thai Red Cross and charity and support the nomination of Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan to be a Unesco World Heritage site.

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