Saturday November 25, 2023 – The return of the cultural event – the Sithan KKU Festival 2023 at Khon Kaen University. The morning session, presided over by Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, President of Khon Kaen University, was joined by administrators, staff and students, who made merit by food offerings to 9 monks. The merit making was followed by the respectful honoring of Phra Uppakut to be part of the event and the worshipping of Luang Po Sai Khaw.
The atmosphere became more lively and colorful in the evening when visitors gradually arrived at the festival to admire the procession of Buddha Relics and homage paying ceremony, which was led by KKU administrators, staff and representatives of students from all faculties. The next session was the grand official opening of Sithan Festival 2023, the event called in Thai: Boon Somma Bucha Nak.
Assoc. Prof. Niyom Wongpongkham, Ph.D., Vice President for Art, Culture, and Creative Economy said that Sithan Festival this year had highlights of all the 3 days. The first day is the day of “Faith”, with the graceful and beautiful procession of Buddha Relics. And as Khon Kaen University is reaching its 60th Anniversary, the University therefore uses the symbol of 60th Anniversary as the gimmick of the festival, with 60th year Bai Sri Yak, 10,060 land krathongs, and 12,060 lanterns.
“It’s certainly going to be fun. The crowd on this first day is very big, especially tourists. There are 2 more days. So if you don’t want to muss the great festival with highlights organized for all walks of life, then you should come. There are folk music bands, Thai bands, Isan bands, Mo Lam, Mo Lam Klon, string singers, K-POP and J-POP activities. It will be new experience for everyone. Come and join in marking the spirit of KKU as a history page that you cannot get from anywhere else.”
Mary Ma, a Chinese student from the Graduate School said that she has been studying at Khon Kaen University for over a year, and it is the first time she has joined in the procession of the Sithan Festival. She said the atmosphere is so beautiful and special, with a lot of people coming. So she is excited and happy to be part of the festival. The most impressive thing is the attires of the people who join. Everyone dressed up so beautifully. This well demonstrates the local culture. Today she was wearing the dress that mixed both Chinese and Thai culture to honor the event. If there is the activity again next year, she surely will not miss.”
In addition, the festival also featured many other activities such as singing contest, Mo Lam show from Ratanasilp Inta Thai Rat Band, local art and cultural show of Pramothai movie by Prakat Samakkee Group. This year, Khon Kaen University also opens a venue for Pop Culture activities: including J-POP Cosplay and K-POP Cover Dance that will integrate with Isan culture and at the same time would attract the new generation. There are contest of Cosplay x Esan culture at the creative walking street zone. It is the first time, Cosplay people would be able to compete against one another in the design and attires that are related to Isan culture. Each team did their best in the dresses and performances, emphasizing the charm of Isan culture.
Miss Dusadeeporn Boonlek or Sea, a Spanish major student of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, who was awarded the first prize from the Cosplay said that the “Kokomi”, that she dressed was a character from Genshin Impact game. She related that when she learned about the contest, she decided to join, for she thought Cosplay could integrate with everything. And it is time that Cosplay is mixed with Isan culture.
“I’m from Isan and I like Anime. Thanks KKU for opening the venue for the new generation to enjoy Loi Krathong with activities that we like such as Cosplay. This will make the new generation become interested in traditions and cultures of Isan, and help conserve them into the future.”
There are more at Sithan Festival. On Sunday November 2023 there was the highlight of “KKU Carnival” and Mo Lam show from Silpin Phuthia Banf, Puppet show from Phet Nong Rua Group and “E-SAN Ghost Dance ”. On Monday November 27, there would be a beautiful and magnificent procession that reflected Thai and Isan identity, of krathongs. Then there would be contests of krathong, Miss Noopamas 2023, water light boats show, water light krathong show, Mo Lam show of Sinsai Band and Miss KKU Angel contest.
Visit the following website to see more pictures of Sithan Festival: https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=kkuthailand&set=a.745420817620942
News: Panit Khatnak