The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting local and international tourists to join a joyous festive parade and count glittering stars at the annual Christmas Star Procession at Ban Ta Rae in Sakon Nakhon, from 21-25 December. There’re also Christmas star parades at Wat Ban Song Khon in Mukdahan, from 24-26 December, and St Michael’s Church, Songyae in Yasothorn’s Thai Charoen District, from 22-25 December.
Ban Ta Rae in Sakon Nakhon is home to Thailand’s largest Roman Catholic community, which has been celebrating the Christmas star procession annually since 1982 to commemorate the Christmas nativity.
This year’s festivity starts at the 100-year-old Ta Rae community from 21 to 24 December. During this period, the people of the community elaborately decorate their colonial- and Vietnamese-style houses with star-shaped lamps and glittering Christmas trees.
The highlight of the event is the traditional Christmas star parade which is unique to Ban Ta Rae, which this year will see the TAT joining in the procession with a special Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’s Star Parade Float. As usual, a mass is held at the community’s cathedral (St Michael’s Cathedral), and visitors can enjoy a city tram tour, a walking street and a traditional Christmas nativity play.
The spectacular Christmas Star Procession itself takes place on 25 December from 18.00 Hrs. onwards at The (Roman Catholic) Archdiocese of Ta Rae and Nonseng. Over 200 vehicles will join the procession and these have been brightly decorated by members of the Roman Catholic communities of Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Kalasin.
Also joining the procession will be traditional Christmas figures; such as, Santa Claus and angels. But the real atmosphere is generated by the thousands of Christian pilgrims and locals who join in the procession with their own glittering star lanterns.
Sakon Nakhon’s Christmas Star Procession can be enjoyed alongside visits to the other interesting attractions of this lovely province in the Northeast, or Isan, of Thailand. They include Phra That Choeng Chum Buddhist Temple, the weekend Kram street market filled with indigo-dyed fabric products, Thailand’s largest Lotus Memorial Park at Nong Han Lake, Phu Phan Museum, and many more.
Visitors may also want to combine Sakon Nakhon’s Christmas Star Procession with that of the neighbouring provinces of Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan, which is scheduled from 24 to 26 December at Wat Ban Song Khon (The Martyrs of Songkhon), a Catholic Church in Mukdahan.
Meanwhile, another Isan province, Yasothorn is also organising annually the Traditional Christmas Star Festival. This year, the event takes place from 22 to 25 December at St Michael’s Church, Songyae in Thai Charoen District.
*Photo gallery of Sakon Nakhon’s Christmas Star Procession