Bo Sang Umbrella Festival Thailand


Bo Sang Umbrella Festival in Thailand is where artisans weave magic with mulberry paper and bamboo. Get ready to marvel at the intricate craftsmanship, lively performances, and immersive cultural experiences that await you in this charming village just outside Chiang Mai.

As you wander through the Umbrella Center, you’ll uncover the rich history and cultural heritage behind these stunning saa paper umbrellas. And that’s just the beginning of your unforgettable adventure in Bo Sang…

Key Takeaways

• Bo Sang Umbrella Festival celebrates traditional umbrella making with vibrant cultural performances, demonstrations, and artisan workshops.

• The festival takes place in Bo Sang village, 10 kilometers southeast of Chiang Mai, accessible by car or white songthaew.

• The event showcases the craftsmanship of saa paper umbrellas, a cultural heritage of the region, with live demonstrations and hands-on experiences.

• Visitors can explore the Bo Sang Umbrella Center, bustling markets, and village attractions, immersing themselves in traditional Thai culture.

• The festival offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history and significance of umbrella making, a community tradition in Bo Sang village.

Bo Sang Umbrella Festival Thailand At A Glance

FactsBrief Explanation
Name of the FestivalBo Sang Umbrella Festival
Type of FestivalCultural Festival
City of OriginBo Sang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Festival EtymologyThe festival celebrates the traditional umbrella-making craftsmanship of the Bo Sang village.
First Celebrated1920s
Celebration DatesAnnually in January or February
FounderLocal Umbrella Makers of Bo Sang Village
Brief History of the Festival– The festival originated in the 1920s to showcase and promote the traditional umbrella-making craftsmanship of the Bo Sang village.
– It has since become an annual event that attracts tourists from around the world to witness the intricate umbrella-making process and participate in various cultural activities.
Brief History of the City– Bo Sang is a small village located within the Chiang Mai metropolitan area, known for its unique umbrella-making tradition.
– The village’s umbrella-making heritage dates back to the 18th century when Burmese and Chinese immigrants settled in the area and introduced their umbrella-making skills.
Ethnic Information– The majority of the population in Bo Sang and the surrounding region are ethnic Thai.
– However, there is a significant influence of Burmese and Chinese cultures due to historical immigration.
Location in ThailandBo Sang is located in the northern region of Thailand, within the Chiang Mai metropolitan area.
How to ReachBo Sang is approximately 10 km east of Chiang Mai city center and can be reached by various modes of transportation, including taxis, tuk-tuks, and local buses.
Nearby Cities/Towns and DistancesChiang Mai City (10 km)
Mae Rim District (15 km)
Hang Dong District (20 km)
San Kamphaeng District (25 km)
Google Map Link
Main Festival Events and Activities– Umbrella-making demonstrations
– Umbrella painting competitions
– Cultural performances (dance, music, etc.)
– Handicraft markets
– Food stalls selling local delicacies
Famous Tourist Attractions and LandmarksBo Sang Handicraft Center (a hub for traditional umbrella-making workshops)
Wat Ban Den (a renowned temple known for its intricate wood carvings)
Bo Sang Handicraft Village (a charming village showcasing various local crafts)
Famous Food DishesKhao Soi (a coconut curry noodle soup),
Sai Oua (Northern Thai-style sausage),
Khao Niaow (sticky rice with various toppings)
Related Festivals in the RegionLoy Krathong Festival (celebrated in Chiang Mai and other parts of Thailand)
Songkran Festival (Thai New Year celebration)
Chiang Mai Flower Festival

The Saa Paper Umbrella Process

Exploring the world of Bo Sang’s iconic umbrellas, you’ll uncover that the intricate process of crafting a saa paper umbrella begins with forming the structure. Skilled artisans carefully carve and weave bamboo strips into wooden axles, masterfully intertwined with delicate threadwork.

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The next step involves making the saa paper. Mulberry bark is transformed into a pulp, dyed, and spread thinly onto a screen to dry. The paper is then attached to the umbrella’s ribs, adorned with colourful embellishments that add an extra touch of elegance.

To bring the umbrella to life, artisans seal the paper with a coat of white gesso, followed by vibrant acrylic painting that showcases their artistic prowess. As you watch artisan demonstrations, you’ll appreciate the meticulous attention to detail and skill that goes into crafting these stunning pieces of art.

Bo Sang Umbrella Village

As you wander through the charming streets of Bo Sang, you’ll discover a village that has been synonymous with umbrella-making for over a century, its rich history and cultural heritage woven into the very fabric of the community.

This quaint village, located just 16 kilometers from Chiang Mai city, is a treasure trove of local traditions and artisan workshops. You’ll find skilled artisans busy at work, crafting beautiful saa paper umbrellas with intricate designs and vibrant colours.

Take a stroll through the village and you’ll be treated to traditional performances, showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage. Be sure to visit the artisan workshops, where you can witness the art of umbrella-making up close and even try your hand at painting your own umbrella.

The village is a vibrant celebration of local traditions, where the air is filled with the sweet scent of mulberry bark and the sound of laughter and chatter. 

Interesting Facts About Bo Sang Umbrella Festival Thailand

  • 🌂 The Bo Sang Umbrella Festival in Thailand is held annually to celebrate the traditional umbrella-making craft of the village, which dates back to the 17th century.
  • 🎨 The umbrellas are not only functional but also works of art, with intricate designs and vibrant colours, showcasing the skill and creativity of the local artisans.
  • 🌳 The umbrella frames are made from bamboo and the cloth is hand-painted with natural dyes derived from plants and flowers found in the region.
  • 💃 During the festival, visitors can witness traditional dance performances, music, and other cultural exhibitions that highlight the rich heritage of Bo Sang.
  • 🏞️ The festival takes place in the picturesque village of Bo Sang, located in the San Kamphaeng district of Chiang Mai province, surrounded by lush greenery and rice fields.
  • 🛍️ Visitors can purchase unique and beautifully crafted umbrellas directly from the artisans, making for a truly authentic souvenir or gift.
  • 🍲 The festival also offers a variety of delicious local cuisine, including traditional Thai dishes and street food, adding to the overall cultural experience.
  • 🌅 The best time to visit the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival is during the cool, dry season, typically between January and March when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.
  • 📚 The umbrella-making tradition in Bo Sang has been passed down through generations, and the festival serves to preserve and promote this unique cultural heritage.
  • 🌐 Although lesser-known internationally, the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival is a beloved local event that attracts visitors from across Thailand and beyond, offering a truly immersive cultural experience.
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Upcoming Events in Thailand

You’re invited to join Thailand in commemorating the Sixth Cycle Birthday Celebration of HM King Rama X from January to December 2024, a year filled with exciting events and festivities.

As you plan your trip to Thailand, mark your calendars for Vesak Day on May 22nd, 2024, a significant Buddhist observance.

This year, Thailand will be bustling with events honouring the 72nd birthday anniversary of His Majesty King Rama X. Experience the grandeur of Thailand’s royal festivities and immerse yourself in the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Bo Sang Umbrella Festival Highlights

Step into the vibrant Bo Sang Umbrella Festival, where the streets come alive with a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and performances that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Thailand.

As you wander through the festival grounds, you’ll be mesmerized by the traditional craftsmanship of local artisans, who demonstrate the intricate process of umbrella-making. Watch in awe as they skillfully weave bamboo strips and attach saa paper panels, bringing these beautiful parasols to life.

Cultural performances will transport you to a world of vibrant colors and lively rhythms, with Lanna music and dances that will leave you enchanted. Don’t miss the Miss Bo Sang Beauty Pageant, where contestants pedal into the scene on bicycles, adding a touch of whimsy to the festivities.

Artistic demonstrations and a painting competition will further delight your senses, while the Traditional Crafts Market offers a treasure trove of unique umbrellas, fans, and lanterns to take home.

History of Bo Sang Umbrellas

In the heart of Bo Sang village, a century-old tradition flourishes, tracing its roots back to Phra Inthaa, a local monk who introduced the Burmese art of umbrella-making to the community.

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You’ll discover that this craft, initiated over a hundred years ago, not only holds cultural significance but also plays a crucial role in the local economy. Initially, umbrella-making was a way for farmers to supplement their income between harvests, and today, it remains an essential part of Bo Sang’s economic significance.

Phra Inthaa’s gift from a Burmese host, an ornate paper umbrella, sparked the community’s interest in this artisanal craft. By using local resources, Phra Inthaa taught the community to create umbrellas, fostering a community tradition that’s been passed down through generations.

The artistic craftsmanship of Bo Sang’s umbrellas is evident in the intricate designs and vibrant colors, showcasing the community’s cultural heritage. You’ll notice that the mulberry paper used in the umbrellas is a reflection of the community’s resourcefulness and creativity.

The Art of Umbrella Making

With deft fingers, artisans in Bo Sang village weave magic into every umbrella, infusing slender bamboo strips and mulberry paper with vibrant, waterproof canopies that have been a hallmark of Thai craftsmanship for over a century.

As you explore the world of umbrella making, you’ll uncover the cultural heritage of this traditional art form. Skilled artisans employ centuries-old techniques, blending sustainable craftsmanship with modern flair to create stunning pieces. You’ll marvel at the intricate process of creating saa paper, where mulberry bark is transformed into a durable, water-resistant material.

Visiting Bo Sang Umbrella Center

As you venture into the heart of Bo Sang village, the Umbrella Center beckons, offering an immersive experience where you can witness the art of umbrella making come alive. Here, you’ll discover the intricate process of crafting these iconic parasols, from forming the bamboo structure to attaching the delicate saa paper panels.

  • Get hands-on experience with umbrella painting and craft workshops, guided by local artisans who share their expertise and passion.
  • Immerse yourself in cultural experiences, watching artisans at work and learning about the history and significance of umbrella making in Bo Sang.
  • Explore the centre’s handicraft shopping area, where you can find unique, handmade umbrellas and souvenirs to take back home.
  • Take part in a craft workshop and create your umbrella under the guidance of local artisans.
  • Marvel at the vibrant paintings on canvas, available for purchase, which showcases the artists’ skill and creativity.

Getting to Bo Sang Village

Heading southeast from Chiang Mai, you’ll find Bo Sang village, a charming oasis nestled just 10 kilometres away, waiting to be discovered. This picturesque village is easily accessible, making it an ideal day-trip destination.

By car, the journey takes approximately 30 minutes, and if you’re staying at the akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel, the staff can arrange a hassle-free trip for you.

Alternatively, you can take a white songthaew from Chiang Mai’s Warorot Market, a local transportation option that’s both affordable (around 20 baht one way) and immersive.

As you arrive in Bo Sang, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant atmosphere of the village, where cultural experiences await around every corner. Take a stroll through the bustling markets, where colourful umbrellas and traditional handicrafts catch your eye.


The Bo Sang Umbrella Festival is a unique celebration of Thailand’s rich cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship. Visitors can witness firsthand the intricate art of making iconic saa paper umbrellas, participate in hands-on workshops, enjoy lively cultural performances, and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of this charming village near Chiang Mai.

The festival offers an authentic experience that highlights the local community’s resilience in preserving their century-old umbrella-making traditions.

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