THAILAND CELEBRATES TRADITIONAL LIFE BY THE RIVERSIDE
Visitors to Festival Celebrating Traditional Life by the Riverside
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya---The Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting visitors to this UNESCO World
Heritage Site province to participate in a unique festival celebrating
the historic bonds between the Thai people and the many rivers and canals
that have shaped their lives through the centuries.
The 6th Aquatic Phansa Festival at
Khlong Lat Chado will take place on Friday, 11 July, 2014 in Phak Hai
district, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province. Visitors will be able to
experience the local people’s way of life alongside the canal, fishing,
farming and many other activities.
Also on the programme is the beautiful candle
floating procession, a competition to award the best decorated riverside
home, Lat Chado local sports games, Lat Chado people’s way of life
photography exhibition, and a re-creation of the floating market as it
used to be in the old days.
The Aquatic Phansa Festival takes place annually to
mark the start of the Buddhist Lent (Khao Phansa) which this year will
fall on 12 July. This year’s opening ceremony will take place in front of
the Lat Chado Market. After the boat procession, visitors can watch
While elsewhere in Thailand, Buddhists take part in
processions to carry candles to their local temples, these are all on
land. Lat Chado decided to do things differently. In a tribute to their
way of the water-based way of life, the locals gather in a large flotilla
of boats to take the candles to the temple.
Mr. Kreangsak Pimpandee, Mayor of Lat Chado Municipality
said “We would like to invite all those who are interested to see this
unique festival, enjoy the Thai tradition, recall the glory of the old
days and the value of this community.”
Mr. Pramoth Supyen, Director of the TAT Ayutthaya
Office, said, “This is a really good example of “Thainess,” a unique
opportunity to enjoy the simplicity and happiness of traditional
community life. We are expecting a large turnout due to the publicity we
have given it through multiple channels.
“Many Thai and foreign tourists visit the Lat Chado
Market annually during the Asalha Puja Day. After the day’s programme of
activities, visitors can also pay homage to a Buddha image in Ayutthaya
province on the same day.”
Marking the full moon of the 8th lunar
month, Asalha Puja is one of Buddhism’s most important festivals,
commemorating the Buddha’s first sermon in which he set into motion the
wheel of “dharma,” a core teaching of Buddhist philosophy.
Lat Chado is about 110 km north of Bangkok. Named
after the Great Snakehead fish (Pla Chado) which once thrived in the
canal, the Lat Chado riverside market was one of many hundreds that
existed all around Thailand, as hubs of commerce and social interaction.
When the era of mechanised road transport dawned,
the importance of the Lat Chado Market declined. However, the area still
has more than 100-year-old wooden shophouses which are often used as
backdrops in Thai TV movies and feature films.
Since its launch, the Aquatic Phansa Festival has
helped the revival of the Lat Chado Market, and boosted its popularity
among domestic tourists over the weekends. A museum set up in one of the
old shophouses tells the story of the community via exhibits of pictures,
artefacts and tools used by local farmers and fishermen.
Visitors will also enjoy many of the local culinary
delicacies, get a chance to buy souvenirs and handicrafts and take a
relaxing canal cruise by riverboat.