Salak Yom Festival Lamphun

The tradition of Salak Yom

“Salak Yom” is an ancient merit making ceremony originally for women of the Tai Yong minority. The Tai Yong originally come from Myanmar and migrated to Lamphun. In the early 1800s, King Kawila of the Lanna kingdom forcibly resettled thousands of ethnic Yong, Karen, Shan, and Khuen people from the present-day Shan state of Myanmar. The Tai Yong come from a place called Muang Yong.  Some 90% of the people living in Lamphun are descendants of the Tai Yong. The Tai Yong speak their own dialect and have stuck to their traditions. The Salak Yom festival is one of these traditions. This ceremony takes place each year in Wat Prathat Haripunchai, in Lamphun, and, on different dates at certain temples in the vicinity of Lamphun.

Colourful pillars at a temple
Salak Yom Festival Lamphun
Temple in the dark
Wat Hariphunchai Salak Yom Festival

Wat Hariphunchai

The sight of Wat Hariphunchai with the towering colourful donation trees dominating the temple compound is a sight to behold. The parade on the second day is really worth watching. It arrives at the temple around sunset. Before and after the parade there are cultural performances by different music and dance groups. The participants of the parade carry smaller donation trees to the temple. It is really worth visiting Wat Hariphunchai during these days, even when there is no parade. Just have a look at our Things to do in Lamphun page.

Salak Yom

A Salak Yom is a tall bamboo construction (see the pictures) decorated with colourful paper. This construction contains house utensils, cloth, food, fruit, vegetables and the eight necessities of a Buddhist monk. In the past, a Salak Yom also contained silverware, gold or diamond. Not anymore. After the first Salak Yom Ceremony at Wat Prathat Haripunchai smaller ceremonies will take place at a number of local temples around Lamphun. On the second day of the ceremony, the Salak Yoms will be brought to the temple in a procession. The next day the Salak Yoms will be donated to monks. Salak Yom is a unique and very colourful ceremony, not to be missed if one is fortunate enough in the region.

Dance of girls in traditional dress
Tai Lue dance Salak Yom Festival
Donation trees at Salak Yom festival

Salak Yom Festival 2020

According to information from the sign outside Wat Hariphunchai in Lamphun the Salak Yom festival will take place from August 30 until September 2. Of course everything has become uncertain due to the Coronavirus crisis. We will keep you updated and really hope that this festival will take place.