Sakon Nakhon province in Thailand’s North East will be holding a unique Christmas celebration – The Christmas Star Procession from 23-25 December, 2016. The colourful parade will take place in the Ban Ta Rae, Mueang district of Sakon Nakhon province, which is home to Thailand’s largest Roman Catholic community.
This Christmas Star Procession in Sakon Nakhon is a unique tradition of Ban Ta Rae and has been ongoing for three decades since it was started back in 1982. It is organised to commemorate the Christmas nativity, the second most important event in the Christian calendar.
For several years now, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been joining forces with local the authorities and cultural experts to preserve this tradition, which is not only important to the local people but also popular with local and international tourists of all faiths who come along to join the procession.
Over 200 vehicles will take part in the procession and many of these have been brightly decorated by members of the Roman Catholic communities of Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Kalasin. Also joining the procession will be traditional Christmas figures; such as, Santa Claus and angels. But the real atmosphere is generated by the thousands of devout Christian pilgrims and locals who join in the procession with their own glittering star lanterns.
As well as the parade, the community also elaborately decorates their colonial- and Vietnamese-style houses with star-shaped lamps and glittering Christmas trees.
The highlight of the event is on Christmas Day itself, the 25 December from 18.00 hrs. when the traditional Christmas star parade will take place. Visitors can enjoy a city tram tour of Ban Ta Rae, Mueang Sakon Nakhon district, stroll around the walking street, enjoy a traditional Christmas nativity play, and also learn how to make the famous star-shaped lanterns in a fun workshop. There are also cultural shows and concerts as well as a food fair with lots of tasty seasonal offerings to enjoy.
Tourists are encouraged to stay longer for a while in Sakon Nakhon to follow His Majesty the King’s footsteps as the province is home to the Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre – another important royal initiative project which was established in November 1982 to study and promote appropriate development methods that serve the development needs of the northeastern region of Thailand.