The dates for this year’s Inthakin Festival at Chiang Mai’s Chedi Luang Temple have been confirmed by Thai news provider CM108. The 2018 edition of the culture spectacular designed to honour the City Pillar will take place between the 11 and 17 May.
Chiang Mai’s City Pillar, AKA Sao Inthakin, is housed in a purpose-built shrine at the city’s Wat Chedi Luang. The Inthakin Festival sees Chiang Mai residents head down to the temple to carry out two time-honoured rites. The first one is to make merit at the Inthakin shrine and chedis at the temple. The other is to drop small satang coins in merit-making bowls.
Making merit is achieved by placing posies of flowers, joss-sticks and candles at the shrine and various other locations on the spacious temple grounds. Thais call this act Tam Boon. Satang coins come in denominations of 25 and 50, or a quarter and half a baht, and are just about worthless. Temple visitors can add to their merit by dropping the coins in the 108 bowls arranged near the Inthakin shrine.
The evenings are the best time to enjoy the Inthakin Festival as it is cooler and food and drink vendors set up stalls at this time of day. According to local legend, the City Pillar was first put up in Chiang Mai by King Mengrai back in the year 1296. Residents believe that if they look after the monument it will in turn look after their city.