Umbrella & Handicrafts at Bo Sang and San Kamphaeng Village FESTIVAL
BO SANG AND SAN KAMPHAENG VILLAGE, CHIANG MAI, JANUARY 15 TO 17
The umbrellas and handicrafts of Bo Sang and San Kamphaeng villages in Chiang Mai are popular products. Bo Sang's paper umbrellas made from mulberry paper are very famous for their dazzling colors and unique floral motifs, while San Kamphaeng is renowned for its silk and a wide range of handicrafts, such as teak furniture, lacquerware and celadon. Bo Sang Umbrella & San Kamphaeng Handicrafts Fair is organized on the third weekend of every January at Bo Sang Handicraft Centre in Chiang Mai. The fair features colorful umbrella making and painting, contests, exhibitions, as well as cultural performances, sales of handicraft products, and a Miss Bo Sang beauty contest.
This festival is usually held in the 3rd week of January in the village of Bo Sang where hundreds of pretty local girls hold umbrellas in a very colorful parade and beauty pageant.
It origins are purely cultural and is as much for the local people as it is for visitors. Over the years the tiny village has become synonymous with umbrella making and is now a well known tourist attraction in itself.
Today, Bor Sang village exports both Saa-paper and silk umbrellas. They are seen at trade shows in a variety of sizes, from giant parasols that offer a shady canopy from the sun, to miniscule variations that adorn popular cocktail drinks.
To celebrate success the village hosts a three-day festival every January. Streets are illuminated by lanterns, while hundreds of umbrellas are hung from the rafters and beams of houses and shops. Bands play, while villagers compete to design the year’s most attractive umbrella. Concerts, a food festival and beauty contest all compete for the attention of the audience, a mix of both tourists and residents, who gather here to celebrate Bor Sang’s innovative handicraft skills.
Throughout the year, tourists visit the village, a short 6 km drive from Chiang Mai, to buy umbrellas and study the process and skills that go into making a handicraft entirely from natural products. But nothing quite compares with the buzz that permeates the village during this colourful three-day handicraft festival, every January. It is a scene that represents village hospitality and charm at its very best.