Residents, handicraft factories and shops in Chiang Mai’s Bo Sang Village have been busy putting the final touches to preparations for their annual handicrafts festival. The 2018 edition of the Bo Sang and San Kamphaeng Handicrafts Festival begins on Friday 19 January. It will run through until Sunday 21 January.
The handicrafts festival celebrates Bo Sang’s famous umbrella making heritage. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has released a statement saying the festival will feature the usual mix of colourful umbrella displays, musical performances, tasty food and unique pageants. The authority explains the Beauty Pageant Bike Parade will be a highlight and feature young ladies in traditional dress riding bicycles and carrying umbrellas.
This all takes place against a backdrop of vibrant hanging lanterns and saa paper umbrellas seemingly festooned in every available space. Saa translates to English as mulberry. The paper the umbrellas are made out of comes from the bark of saa trees. The finished product provides protection from the sun and the rain. The umbrellas are painted in a huge range of designs and patterns and are a sought after souvenir of Chiang Mai.