Makha Bucha night in Chiang Mai ~ Thailand

Makha Bucha night with floating candles in Chiang Mai ~ Thailand

Yesterday night, Thailand celebrated Makha Bucha, an important Buddhist festival celebrated in South-East Asia on the full moon day of the third lunar month (which usually falls around end of February or beginning of March).

Makha Bucha commemorates two separate events that occurred on the same date 45 years apart, during the Buddha’s lifetime. The first event was the coming together of 1,250 monks to meet and be ordained by the Buddha, and the second event was the Buddha delivering his teachings shortly before his death, 45 years later.

During this highly ceremonial event, Thai people make merit by going to temples and engaging in Buddhist activities. In the evening, most important temples hold a candlelight procession called Wian Tian, circling 3 times around the ubosot or chedi (stupa).

I had an amazing experience walking in one of the temple grounds where they had this beautiful little pond with hundreds of floating candles. Unlike Wat Chedi Luang next door which had thousands of people gathered up to celebrate the event, this place was almost empty, with a hypnotizing Buddhist chant that grabbed your soul (click on the link to listen to it).

I leave you with a few more shots. Happy Holidays to all Buddhists.

Wian Tian candle procession around Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, during Makha Bucha.


Makha Bucha celebration in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, during Makha Bucha holiday.


Golden Buddha statue decorated with candles in Chiang Mai.


Wat Chedi Luang during Makha Bucha in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Makha Bucha night candles in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Prints are all available if you’d like to purchase one.

  • Ross

    Great photos. I enjoy the chants at the temples in Asia too.

    • Daniel Nahabedian

      Thanks a lot Ross.

  • Matt

    Gorgeous shots. I love the soft light that the candles bring to these scenes.

    • Daniel Nahabedian

      Thanks Matt :)

  • TheCuriousCameraGirl

    These photographs are stunning! I’m just starting to learn more about photography and the first image, apart from being so beautiful, made me think about depth of field (and how I barely know how this works)!

  • Amer

    Love the shots and yes those candles really do bring a special vibe to it.

    • Daniel Nahabedian

      Thanks a lot :)

  • flipnomad

    wow… im blown away with the beauty of your pictures

    • Daniel Nahabedian

      Thank you very much Flip.

  • Tina

    Amazing seems to be India…

    • Daniel Nahabedian

      Thanks Tina!

  • Chrissy Travels

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get a crash course in photography for an amateur? I just bought my first real camera and need to figure out what all of the different settings are used for. I really wish I could take shots like you have on your site.


  • Travel + Escape

    These are stunning! Can we publish a few on ?

  • Travel + Escape

    It’s Garine btw :)

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