Beautiful scenes from umbrella festival in northern Thailand as local women wear traditional costume

Beautiful scenes from northern Thailand today (January 18) where local women wore traditional clothes for the start of the region's umbrella festival.

The Bo Sang umbrella festival in Chiang Mai province celebrates hundreds of hand-painted paper sun umbrellas being produced in the village.

Locals began making them centuries ago when a Buddhist monk from the area travelled to neighbouring Burma, returning to his home with the newly learned umbrella making technique.

Villagers in Bo Sang adapted the skill - becoming known as the umbrella people - and spawning an industry that manufacturers hundreds of thousands of handmade sun umbrellas that are shipped around the world.

Each year, villagers celebrate their tradition by lining the streets with bright, intricately decorated umbrellas.

While the town's young women wear traditional silk gowns as the ride bicycles and carry umbrellas to shade them from the sun.

The festival lasts for three days, starting today and finishing on Sunday evening.