November Holidays, Festivals, Events SE Asia

Bon Om Touk or Water Festival- Cambodia 

or the Cambodian Water Festival, is a Cambodian festival celebrated in November and marks a reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. Every town and province joins in with the festival but the biggest celebrations take place in Phnom Penh with boat racing along the Sisowath Quay. For three days, workers from every province join with the city’s residents to celebrate by night and day. The festival lasts for three days, and commemorates the end of the country’s rainy season,[1] as well as the reversal of flow of the Tonle Sap River.[2] It includes boat races and concerts, and attracts several million people each year

Phuket International Sport Fishing Tournament

3 day event held Phuket Thailand.   The Phuket International Sportfishing Tournament is three days of fun fishing competition great parties at the Tamarind Bar with free food and drinks and a great way to help support local charity with all proceeds raised going to under-privileged kids at the Phuket Sunshine Village.

Loi Krathong –   Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, and Burma

is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand and certain parts of Malaysia, Laos and Burma (in Shan State). The name could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river.

Loi Krathong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as Yi Peng (Thai: ยี่เป็ง). Yi means “two” and peng means a “full moon day”. Yi Peng refers to the full moon day in the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar (the twelfth month according to the Thai lunar calendar).[4]

Swarms of Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom loi (Thai: โคมลอย), literally: “floating lanterns”) are launched into the air where they resemble large shoals of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating through the sky. The festival is meant as a time for tham bun (Thai: ทำบุญ), to make merit. Khom loi are made from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, stretched over a bamboo or wire frame, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air is trapped inside the lantern and creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up into the sky.

Thanksgiving

That Luang Festival – Laos

Pha That Luang is the national symbol and most important religious monument of Laos. Vientiane‘s most important Theravada Buddhist festival, “Bun That Luang”, is held here for three days during the full moon of the twelfth lunar month (November).

Monks and laypeople from all over Laos congregate to celebrate the occasion with three days of religious ceremony followed by a week of festivities, day and night. The procession of laypeople begins at Wat Si Muang in the city center and proceeds to Pha That Luang to make offerings to the monks in order to accumulate merit for rebirth into a better life. The religious part concludes as laypeople, carrying incense and candles as offerings, circumambulate Pha That Luang three times in honor of Buddha. Folk and popular music troupes and drama performances provide entertainment at the festival.

Cambodia Independence Day- Cambodia 9th November

Independence Day November 9 This national holiday was established to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953.

The Bridge on the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Kanchanaburi, in Myanmar border, is home to the famous Bridge River Kwai. During WW II, Japan constructed the meter-gauge railway line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma. The line passing through the scenic Three Pagodas Pass runs for 250 miles. This is now known as the Death Railway.

The railway line was meant to transport cargo daily to India, to back up their planned attack on India. The construction was done using POWs and Asian slave laborers in unfavorable conditions. The work started in October 1942 was completed in a year. Due to the difficult terrain, thousands of laborers lost their lives. It is believed that one life was lost for each sleeper laid in the track.

http://www.bridgeriverkwai.com/

Surin Elephant Round-up-Thailand 

The Surin Elephant Round-up usually takes place on the third weekend of November in Surin province, Isan, Thailand. It is of recent origin, first held in 1960. The people of Surin were traditionally excellent at capturing elephants in Cambodia, then training them as working animals. Civil war in Cambodia and the elephant’s decreasing economic importance has forced the elephant handlers (mahouts) to turn to entertainment to make a living.

The event consists of a series of shows displaying the strength and skill of the animals, such as football games and tugs of war.

Elephant Round-Up

The Elephant Breakfast is a small part of the festival and is held on the Friday morning. A procession of up to over 300 elephants (2005) start marching through Surin city from the railway station area toward the Elephant roundabout at the south end of the city on the Prasat road.

The elephants carry dignitaries and also some tourists who dismount their steeds on arrival. Some elephants carry mahouts in authentic battle outfits from the Thai – KhmerLaos battles. Intermingled with the elephant procession are local school children and teachers in traditional dress, dancing and playing music.

Once all the elephants have arrived then the banquet can begin, the tables of fruits are quickly cleared by the large team of elephants. Whatever leftovers there may be is not lost, as the local people take the leftovers to their own homes.

On the following morning (Saturday) the elephants and mahoots congregate at the Elephant Stadium to the south east of the city centre. Here the main show is performed culminating in a re-enactment of the battles of a past century. The show is repeated on Sunday morning.

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