[callout]Wat Chedi Luang[/callout]
This festival takes place over 8 days in Chiang Mai, starting from the twelfth day of the waning moon of the six lunar month, which in 2015 this is may 14-21.
Inthakin or worship of the city pillar is a uniquely Chiang Mai festival, the inhabitants of Chiang Mai are given the opportunity to give respect to the guardian spirits of the city, more specifically to the spirits associated with the city pillar.
The pillar was laid during the founding of Chiang Mai in 1296 by king Mengrai originally at Wat Sadeu Muang also known as Wat Inthakin and has been relocated in 1800 from the decayed Wat Inthakin to Wat Chedi Luang.
Starting with a procession around the old part of the city, a Buddha image called Phra Fon Saen Haa (the five hundred thousand raindrop Buddha) is carried, blessed with lustral water and later placed in the courtyard of the temple.
Later people can venerate the Buddha and the city pillar by means of flowers, incense and candles in each of the twenty-eight bowls in front of the temple.
On the last day of the ceremony, another procession takes place around the city moat known as Tham Boon Muang or City blessing for the guardian spirits of the moat and the city gates and to ensure the city’s prosperity for another year.
This tradition is best viewed in the evening when Wat Chedi Luang is beautifully lit up and when the streets surrounding the temple are filled with vendors selling flowers, candles and of course food and when the traditional dancing ceremonies and musical performances are taking place.