Photo: Mud Men of the Dansai Ghost Festival
All kinds of spirits come out to play at the Ghost Festival in Dansai,Thailand. Also known as Phi Ta Khon, a yearly three day event held in Loei province in the Isan area of Thailand, the forces of good, symbolized by beautiful young dancing maidens dressed in traditional costumes, mix with “evil” symbolized by the mud-men who randomly terrorize the village. These characters are in contrast to the more well known, but extremely colorful masked ghosts that like to dance, drink lots of Lao Khao (rice whiskey) and otherwise wreak havoc on this otherwise sleepy town. The complicated roots of Phi Ta Khon lie in Buddhist and more ancient animist traditions, with many more reverent ceremonies mixed among the revelry, but even after much explanation, no one seems to be able to tell me exactly why it has evolved the way it has. If you would like to see many more photos of the Dansai Ghost Festival have a look on my portfolio site.