Friday, November 30, 2012

PART 2; LOI KRATHONG IN THAILAND


KEE@FSWMAG.COM
THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF LOI KRATHONG BY THE GOVERNOR OF TAT (TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND) AT ASIATIQUE WAS A GRAND AFFAIR WORTHY OF BUDDHA AND THE RIVER GODDESS IN WHOSE HONOUR THE FESTIVAL IS HELD.
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King Ramkhamheng the Great from Sukothai period (1238-1438) whose wife Queen Nophammat created the first krathong or lotus shaped vessel filled with flowers, candle and joss  stick to float down the river to symbolically remove the sins and mistakes accumulated during the year. King Ramkhamheng was the greatest and most famous Sukothai King. He was the second son of founder King Si Indradit who founded the Sukothai kingdom and called themselves 'Thai' which means 'free' to distinguish themselves from other Tai tribes who were still under the control of Cambodia
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Actor wearing the royal regalia of King Ramkhamheng of the Sukothai era (1238-1438) which saw 200 years of the first Golden Age of Thailand until it merged with Ayuthyya kingdom
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King Ramkhamheng and Queen Nopammat who created the first krathong like the one held here back in the 13th century
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Royal couple; King Ramkhamheng the Great and Queen Nopammat who made the first krathong as seen here
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Royal ladies in waiting
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The Naga King has arrived!
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Kee Hua Chee and Naga King
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The arrival of Brahma the 4-Face God
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Guards safeguarding the golden statue
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They will all be parading on stage later during the launch
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A typical krathong that sells for around RM 3

BELOW ARE IMAGES OF THE LAUNCH OF LOI KRATHONG FESTIVAL ON 24 NOVEMBER AT ASIATIQUE  THE RIVERFRONT IN BANGKOK SPONSORED BY TAT (TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND)
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Dancers using long white cloth to mimic the waves in prepartation for the arrival of the Naga King which controls the waters which were threatening Gautama Siddartha who was meditating and on the verge of enlightenment
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The spectacular arrival of the Naga King on stage erected next to the Chao Phraya river
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The Naga King ascends the steps to the stage
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Loi Krathong Festival 2012 was sponsored by TAT
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The Naga King pays homage to Buddha the Enlightened One who gave up the most exalted post on earth to become a wandering beggar and thus save mankind! When he was born, a soothsayer predicted he would either be the greatest, strongest and richest king ruling the mightiest empire in history or be a mendicant! His parents naturally wanted him to be King and so tried to shield him from Old Age, Sickness, Sorrow and Death because if he saw these, his natural empathy would take him towards salvation. Here Buddha is cleverly seen as a silhouette similar to our wayang kulit! The Naga King would later go behind Gautama Siddartha who was a mortal and raised his hood and shelter him from a violent storm raised by Mara the Evil Incarnate
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The arrival of Queen Nopammat with the world's first krathong
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The arrival of King Ramkhamheng the Great (1277-1317) who created and adopted the Thai alphabet in 1283 and brought in Chinese artisans to develop the ceramics industry that continues to this day!
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Queen Nopammat shows King Ramkhamheng the first krathong she created from banana leaves and flowers
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King Ramkhamheng accepts her offering and bows to Buddha in reverence
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King Ramkhamheng orders the krathongs to be floated on the Yom and Nan rivers
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A dance is held to celebrate the occasion
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King Ramkhamheng  looks at a krathong
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A maiden offers King Ramkhamheng a krathong
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Queen Nopammat likes it too
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Lantern bearers
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The arrival of the 4-Face Brahma golden statue
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The statue is carried onto the stage
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The golden statue of Brahma
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The statue is carried off stage
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Dancers mimicking a lotus bud!
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Dancers posing as lotuses!
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King Ramkhamheng the Great with Queen Nopammat
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King Ramkhamheng and Queen Nopammat
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The Board of Directors of TAT and sponsors from Asiatique 
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Giving a token of appreciation
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The golden statue of Brahma is carried on stage again
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The krathong shaped like crystal chandelier is hoisted up
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Up it goes to the top to reach the beak of the golden phoenix
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The krathong is now lifted symbolically up into the air rather than water so  everyone could see
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Congratulations all round
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The golden Brahma is paraded before the VIPs
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The VIPs who launched Loi Krathong Festival 2012 
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Though it rained heavily at 7pm, due to my prayers to Buddha and Mea Khongka, the rain stopped in time for the ceremony to begin! What a blessing!
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Group photo; the event was a huge success as the rain stopped due to my prayers to Buddha and Mea Khongka the Goddess of Water! Luckily I attended or else it would have been a wash-out! Buddha always grant my wishes
And then came the illuminated boats that started their journey on the Menam Chao Phraya in front of us!
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This was the first illuminated boat followed by a dozen more, each seemingly more fabulous than its predecessor! 
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Then came the fabulous fireworks that lit up the Bangkok skyline and impressed everyone till they almost fell into the Chao Phraya river!

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Portrait of the Most Beloved Monarch in the world

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Now this is what I call a huge lotus shaped krathong!
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Kee Hua Chee and Apple aka Sudaporn Worapon 
















































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