Huge wax floats made for Buddhist candle festival in Thailand

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Giant wax floats were made for the Buddhist Candle Festival this year in Thailand.

The sculptures depicting religious figures in a massive boat were displayed outside a market in Nakhon Ratchasima province on Monday (July 19) for the annual celebration.

Instead of having a parade attended by thousands of devotees offering candles to Buddhist monks, photo booths were set up with the beautiful wax figures due to Covid-19.

Footage shows visitors with their families observing the wax figures with intricate details made by artisans across the province.

One of the event organisers said: ‘The parade was cancelled this year to comply with the guidelines set by the provincial Communicable Disease Committee.

‘The decision was made after a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the province. With the photo booths, devotees could still watch and take selfies with the floats with their families while maintaining social distancing.’

Thai Buddhists celebrate Candle Festival at the beginning of Buddhist Lent which this year falls on July 20. The event used to be attended by locals and tourists.

However, travel restrictions were extended and curfews were tightened to control the spread of coronavirus across the country.

Economists have warned that it could be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen.

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thailand has recorded 439,477 Covid-19 cases and 3,610 deaths as of July 21. Ministers hope a vaccine rollout that started this month will allow them to re-open the country to international tourists before the end of the year.

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