The lotus flower is a very important part of Thai life. It is also the most commonly found flower in Thailand. It is found in ponds, swamps, canals and also in the temples of Thailand.
Lotus is a flower that is associated with heavenly beings in Thailand literature and holds a special place in Thai life.
Besides being used in temples and prayers, lotus also has medicinal properties and is used extensively in traditional Thai medicine. Besides this, many handicrafts across Thailand are inspired by the beauty of this flower.
Every year on the 14th full moon night in October, the Lotus Flower festival is held at Bang Phi in Samut Prakan district of Thailand. This festival is celebrated one day before end of the Buddhist Lent. Bang Phi is renowned for its lotus flowers which grows in abundance here. People from all across Thailand come here year in and year out, collect the lotus flowers and offer them to the monks. This Lotus Flower Festival is considered as one of the merit making festivals in Thailand.
During the festival, the image of Buddha is carried on a boat. This image is a replica of Luang Poh To Buddha image. People stand on either sides of the canal and they throw lotus flowers on the boat carrying the Buddha image. These flowers are meant as homage to Lord Buddha, Dhamma and Sangka. The local people also throw lotus flowers on the boats’ of the visitor as a gesture of welcoming them to join the festival.
As per traditions, Buddhist from across Thailand come to this district to pick flowers to offer to monks. The local people consider this as an honor and believe they will be blessed so they volunteer to keep the flowers to distribute it to the visitors. This tradition has become known as the Lotus Receiving Festival or Rap Bua festival.