Long-boat racing is one of the traditional rites which marks the end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat. It mainly takes place in the 11th or 12th lunar months (around September or October), when the water level is at its highest.
Traditionally, long-boat racing is held as an annual event by provinces with a major waterway flowing through. At present, long-boat racing is considered as a national sport. Its history can be traced back to the Ayuthaya period some 600 years ago. However, boat racing in those days was just a mean to keep boat men physically and mentally fit for national defense.
Usually, racing boats are made from dugout tree trunks and can accommodate up to 60 oarsmen sitting in a double row. The oarsmen usually dress in the same colour. The festival event draws several hundreds of local and foreign spectators who watch the race along both sides of the riverbank enthusiastically. At the end, trophies and prizes are given to the winning teams.
Lanna Boat Races Nan October 2001
Lanna Boat Races form part of the local Kathin religious ceremony traditionally held during the Ok Phansa, the end of the Buddhist Lent. The races on the Nan River are colorful and unique because the racing boats are brightly decorated with imaginatively designed prows. The cheering squads on the river bank are usually boisterous and plenty of fun. The boat races are also meant to celebrate the black ivory, an age-old object of Nan Province.
Wiang Sa Traditional Boat Racing
The boat racing festival takes place on the Nan River at the end of October or at the beginning of November after the Buddhist lent in Wiang Sa district every year. The racing boats in the contest are made from hollowed –out log with a beautiful figure-head and tail of Naga. They are big, medium and small in size. 40-50 boats compete for the royal cups of His Majesty the King, the Crown Prince and Princess Sirindhon. The boat race is very popular. Wiang Sa villagers have a lot of fun and they are very proud of this traditional festival.