Colourful parades to mark the end of Buddhist lent in Thailand

Thousands of devotees took part in the colourful parades with ornately decorated boats to mark the end of Buddhist lent in Thailand on Monday (October 14).

Floats decorated with artwork and dancers in traditional costumes were at an event in Songkhla in the south of the country.

Brightly decorated 'land boats' were used to recreate how Buddha supposed to travel from heaven to the earth to collect donations from followers.

Drum sticks were delivered along a zip line in a basket of firecrackers to signal the start of festivities. 

The Buddhist lent period lasts for three months from mid-July until mid-October. 

Provincial governor Somsak Thantiseranee said: "It was a pleasure to host a traditional festival and get so much attention. It shows our beliefs have not been forgotten.''

In the neighbouring province of Trang, followers held a similar festival.

Ornately decorated Buddhist longboats paraded along the road with locals dancing in traditional style.

The Trang provincial office stated that there were a total of 78 boats built from 78 different temples for the event.

The parade of Buddhist land boats, known as Chak Phra, is a traditional belief in the southern region that the boat is a vehicle that Buddha used to take from heaven to the earth to receive donations. 

Buddhist followers made donations on the last day of the lent period.