The town residents of Phetchabun in north Thailand, 340 km from Bangkok, hold, every year, the Um Phra Dam Nam ceremonies in order to dive the Buddha statue in Pah Sak River.
The events are mostly religious ceremonies.
The ceremony of washing the statue is held on the 15th day of the moon decrease, on the 10th month of the Thai lunar calendar. The habit of the statue’s washing is a result from a 400 years old local religion story. According to it, the statue was found in Pah Sak water.
The believers took it to Wat Trai Phum shrine in the town and after a while it was found again in the water. The believers understood that the statue is going by itself to wash in the river. Thus, every year they carry the statue, in a magnificent ceremony, from its place in the shrine to take a bath in the river. The ceremony starts on 1 o’clock p.m. The statue is carried around the town and then put in a tent in Wat Trai Phum shrine in order to allow the believers to bow, pray and stick golden leafs to its body.
In the evening, the main prayers begin and at night entertainment shows, singing and folklore dance are held. In the morning after the ceremony, the believers bring food as a contribution to the monks and the Buddha statue is taken to the ritual immersion in the river. The immersion is accompanied by traditional dances as an honor to the adorable God.
After the ceremony, the river is regarded as a holy river and the public enter to dive and drink the water. Afterwards, a traditional boat race takes place.