Chiang Mai temple gets ready for Inthakin City Pillar Festival

One of Chiang Mai’s most famous temples is putting the finishing touches to preparations for its colourful annual festival. The Inthakin Festival begins tomorrow and is a week-long celebration of Chiang Mai’s heritage and the customs of the historic Lanna Kingdom.

A shrine on the grounds of Wat Chedi Luang is home to Sao Inthakin (the City Pillar). Legend has it that if Chiang Mai honours and takes care of Sao Inthakin, the pillar will in turn ensure good fortune for the city’s residents. Residents and tourists take care of their own well-being with several different traditions.

They achieve this by putting candles, joss-sticks and mini bunches of flowers on the Sao Inthakin shrine, the Statue of the 100,000 Rain Buddha and other stupas and monuments at Wat Chedi Luang. Another means of making merit, or tam boon in Thai, is to drop 25 and 50 satang coins in the 108 donation bowls for monks laid out on tables in the main viharn (prayer hall).

Hawkers set up stalls close to the temple’s front entrance on Prapokkloa Road in the evenings. They sell a full range of Thai snacks and drinks as well as some souvenirs. The Inthakin City Pillar Festival will take place at Wat Chedi Luang Temple in Chiang Mai’s old City between 22 and 28 May 2017