The fair celebrates the delicious fruit,
first planted in Suratthani during 1926. Highlights include floats adorned with
rambutan and other fruits, exhibitions of local products and ornamental plants,
and demonstrations by specially trained monkeys who harvest coconuts.
Chak Phra Festival (mid-October)
Suratthani celebrates the official end of the
annual 3-month Buddhist Rains retreat (Ok Phansa) with the Chak Phra Festival
(literally ‘the procession of hauling the Buddha image').
The tradition stems from the belief that the Buddha ascended to Heaven during
Phansa to preach to his mother. The festival marks the Buddha's return to Earth,
and is an occasion for religious merit-making and general celebrations. Local
people organise dazzling land and waterborne processions of revered Buddha
images (to symbolise the Buddha's return to Earth) and boat races on the Tapi
River where long boats, each manned by up to 50 oarsmen, are ebulliently raced.
Religious devotion, spectacle and merriment combine to make Suratthani's Chak
Phra Festival a memorable annual event.