The festival is known as Ngan Boon Duen Sib (th: งานบุญเดือนสิบ) and also called Bra Pae Nee Sart Duen Sib (th: ประเพณีสารทเดือนสิบ)
The Tenth Lunar Month Festival is a Buddhist ceremony which was influenced by belief of Brahmanism and mixed with belief of Buddhism afterwards with significant purpose of expressing gratitude and obligation through merit making to spirits of passed away ancestors and relatives.
Most of the southern people regard the Tenth Lunar Month Festival as a very important ritual. The belief of Buddhists in the South is that all dead grandfathers, grandmothers and relatives go to hell and become “Praet” (th:เปรต) - giant ghosts with small mouths who are always hungry.
The Tenth Lunar Month Festival usually begins on the first waning moon day of the tenth Thai Lunar month when it’s believed that all “Praet” will be released from hell, due to their badness Karma, and wait for the merit that their living relatives do for them in each year and will be forced back to hell on the fifteenth waning moon day of the tenth Thai Lunar month. The belief is also mentioning that the passed away good doers will go to heaven or a good place; while on the other hand, the passed away bad doers will go to hell or a suffering place. It’s the duty of the living relatives to help those suffering spirits by making merits to them and wishing that to reduce their sufferings.
On the Tenth Lunar Month Festival beyond making merit for members of family, relatives or other who passed away, there is an essential part of the offering set, the 5 confections.
These 5 confections are the symbols of the Tenth Lunar Month Festival, each of them has its belief significations, and besides these confections are proper provisions for the monks through the rainy season.
- Khanom Pawng (ขนมพอง) or Pawng confection symbolizes the raft or float to cross the ocean between the hell and the earth.
- Khanom La (ขนมลา) or La confection symbolizes clothes or costumes.
- Khanom Dee Sam (ขนมดีซำ) or Dee Sam confection symbolizes money.
- Khanom Bah (ขนมบ้า) or Bah confection symbolizes Sa-ba, Thai recreation, for the deaths play in Songkran day (Thai New Year).
- Khanom Gong (ขนมกง) Gong confection symbolizes the ornaments.
Traditionally, the celebration is scheduled to be held during September to October every year for 10 days at Nakhon Si Thammarat City Hall, Wat Nah Phra Mahathat, and Suan Somdet Phra Si Nakharindra 84th (Thung Tha Lat), Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Thailand.