Evolution of Creation Buddhist Lent Candle of Work Awarded in Ubon Ratchathani’s Lent Candle Contests 2003-2007
- 1 Mahasarakham University, Thailand
Copyright: © 2020 Sakchai Uttitho. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The tradition of Lent candle procession at the Buddhist Lent festival is the grand festival at the national level in Ubon Ratchathani province. From the merit-making tradition concerning Buddhism binding to the way of life of Isan people for the long time, this festival has developed to be a tourist festival at the national level. Later, there have been contests of candle making in continuity. Throughout the past time the contests have promoted creation of candle with different styles contests and stories which are valuable for studying and dissemination in the future. The purposes of this research were to examine the background of the Buddhist Lent candle trees, elements of contests and evaluation of candle trees awarded on Lent candle contests in Ubon Ratchathani province from 2003-2007. The research area covered Ubon Ratchathani provinces where Buddhist Lent candle were created for contests which were the most famous in Thailand. The research procedure used the qualitative research methodology. Data were collected from related literature and field studies using survey, observations, interviews and focus group discussion from a group of totally 35 informants. The findings were presented by means of a descriptive analysis. The results reviewed that candle trees had been made for neatness contests since 1927. In 1977 the tradition of Lent candle procession week was held to be a grand annual festival of the province. Candle trees were contested in 3 types. Later two elements of contest consisted of large-sized candle tree and small-sized candle tree. Concepts of candle tree creation were from the criteria determined by Ubon Ratchathani province. The criteria were different from year to year. The stories to created as candle trees were about Buddhism local culture and identities of Ubon Ratchathani. The same criteria were use for decision making in every type by considering from candle tree base and all elements, The evaluation of candle trees awarded in contests could be divided into 3 aspects: contests the stories appearing the most involved the Lord Buddha stories. The shape of the Buddha images used was in sitting style. There were 4 forms using structural line to determine the front part, middle part and the end part at different heights. The Buddhist Lent candle trees creation was originate from belief in Buddhism presented by Buddhists to Buddhism monks who stayed at their monasteries. Ubon Ratchathani province has adhered to this tradition from ancient time up to present. The tradition has been promoted by the state and private sectors. It is a grand traditional festival. There are candle trees contest every year. Most of the contents appearing at the candle trees in contests are stories in Buddhism. However, some year there are contents concerning His Majesty the King in different auspicious occasion. There are limited families of craftsmanship so the forms of candle trees are similar. They are popularistic and realistic. The same shapes are used but elements are adjusted.
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