Why is it that when you give someone a mask they will never fail to show you their true face? For Phi Ta Khon festival, or the ghost mask festival, the normally shy, polite and retiring villagers of Dan Sai reveal themselves to be fun-loving, dance-crazy, non-stop party people. The festival, held in Loei province, is a vibrant interweaving of religion and art.
Mask makers spend the months leading up to the big event constructing and painting their lavish costumes in exquisite detail. When finished, the complete outfits resemble colourful monsters, somehow managing to be both fearsome and fluorescent. Dancing and continuous cowbells announce to the world that the ‘ghosts’ are in town.