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VOL.VII NO.16     -      16 April 1999

News | Business News  | Features | Columns | Letters | Sports | Mail Market | Sports Round-Up

Pattaya Festival kick’s off in grand style
History is the theme for the 1999 Festival

MP Sonthaya Khunpluem, Deputy Minister of Communications, chaired the opening ceremony of the Pattaya Festival on April 12th, but it wasn’t an ordinary chairmanship.

MP Sonthaya was delivered to center stage from the King Taksin shed on a "royal" carriage shouldered by 4 men.

home.jpg (26738 bytes)Hanuman, Nang MonTho and Pra Ram from Thai mythology visited the Grand Opening parade and were given a ride on Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital’s float.

He was followed by the night’s 2 emcees, Pratheep Malhotra and Khun Wannapa Wansri. As the emcees announced names of the honored guests, one by one they were brought out on the same carriage.

Before all this took place, however, the traditional parade started from Beach Road Soi 4-5 and proceeded to the hub of the festival on Pattaya 3rd Road. The Royal Cliff Resort’s entry took the top prize for the third year in row. MP Sonthaya presented the prize.

The "Lord Mayor" then announced the official opening of the festival, and the party began.

Waiphot Petchsuwan, a nationally famous singer, retold the history of the Pattaya Festival in a Thai traditional singing poem.

This was followed by the light and sound show entitled: Land of Thap Phraya of King Taksin the Great. The show is played by national artists, who tell the story King Taksin. At 250 Baht it is definitely worth seeing.

Honored guests of the grand opening included MP Sonthaya Khunpluem, Deputy Minister of Communications, MP Sansak Ngarmphiches, Chairman of the Parliament Tourism Committee, MP Vidhaya Khunpluem, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, MP Chansak Chawlitnititham, Songkram Kohsuthitheerakul, Deputy Governor of Chonburi, and Pairat Suthithamrongsawat, Mayor of Pattaya City.

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The water festival, or Songkran (Thai New Year), is being celebrated this weekend, capping off with the major celebration on Monday, April 19th.

Be prepared to be unable to "get anything done" on April 19th, as the streets will be literally impassable except for water throwing revelers. Best advice is to have a lot of fun.

However, the celebration of Songkran for Thai is actually a very gentle and beautiful expression of love and respect.

Tourists in Thailand who have been to this festival before are familiar with the water and talc powder that is thrown by the bucket-full. But this is not the true Thai celebration.

Pattaya Mail and the people of Pattaya urge everyone to practice safe Songkran. Please, Thai and visitor alike, refrain from throwing powder and plastic bags filled with water and/or ice at each other.

Lets preserve the gentle Thai tradition of Songkran and enjoy the New Year by expressing love and respect for each other.

Updated every Friday
Copyright 1998 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand 
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596; e-mail: [email protected]
Created by Andy Gombaz, assisted by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek
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