Making merit with traditional food marks end of Buddhist Lent
Devotees bring “Kaotom Harng” food offerings to monks
Devote Buddhists throughout Thailand marked the end of
Buddhist Lent on October 29. The holiday, called “Auk Pansa” or “Tak
Bart Tay-Wo”, has long been a Thai tradition.
Buddhists put “Kaotom Harng” offerings into a priest’s bowl during
ceremonies to mark the end of Buddhist Lent.
Thai Buddhists have two special days to mark the end of
Buddhist Lent. On both days they go to the temple to make merit; food is given
to the monks in the morning, offerings are made to the monks in general, making
merit is done at the temple, and people listen to the “Tay-Wo”
sermon (an event where food is given to the monks).
All temples in Banglamung and Pattaya were crowded,
especially the Photisamphan Temple, Sawangfa Phutaram Temple, Chaiyamongkhol
Temple, Nong Yai Temple, Nong Or Temple. Devotees brought the “Kaotom
Harng” or “Kao tom Lookyon”, which is symbolic of “Tay-Wo”,
to give to the monks early in the morning. People believe that this will bring
luck and prosperity to themselves and their family.
The end of the Buddhist Lent is always on the increasing
full moon on the 15th day of the 11th month, in or around October each year. It
is the last day the priests have to remain in the temple after residing there
together for the 3 months of the rainy season.
The monks must make “Sangkakam” (religious
services) on what is called “Maha Pawarana Day” (Day of service).
This is when the monks gather to assess each other’s behavior and to receive
council. The abbot conducts discussions and a questioning session with lower
ranking monks. This “Pawarana”, one of the priest’s behaviors, is
done to replace praying “Patimok” (priest rules), which is done
every 15 days during Buddhist Lent.
For “Tay-Wo”, giving food is done on the
decreasing full moon on the 1st day of the 11th month, one day after the end of
the Buddhist Lent. As the story goes, Buddha went up to heaven to give a sermon
to his mother and stayed 3 months during the Buddhist Lent, then came back to
earth at “Sangkassa Nakorn City”.
This second coming down from heaven is called “Dawadung”.
In the old days the Buddhists waited to give food, and the tradition has
continued and is still practiced today.
The “Kaotom Harng” story came from a day when the temple was
crowded and some couldn’t give food to the priests. Therefore the “Kaotom
Harng” was made to put the offerings into a priest bowl. Offerings are
made from sticky rice and covered with a coconut leaf, and the offering has a
long tail, which is good for throwing. They believe that this will bring the
greatest fortune, and this tradition has continued, too.
City encourages communities to weed out drug problems
Last Friday morning at city hall, Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn opened a seminar for over 50 community leaders to
encourage further efforts in removing drug problems, which fall in line with
the central government’s policy on removing the problem from the country
altogether. The seminar follows Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra’s renewed
war on drugs.
The Pattaya administration has received a budget to
continue anti-drug programs to encourage communities to take a tough stance
on the issue from a local standpoint.
During the seminar, community leaders were urged to relay
the relevant information to people in their area and were educated on what
to look for in terms of drug users or dealers as well as procedures to
inform drug suppression units.
Nattawut Piamdee, Region 6 drug suppression officer and
Pol. Col Woratchai Sriwattanawut, Banglamung police superintendent relayed
the vital information needed in weeding out drug users and dealers.
The target communities of the seminar included Wat Chomlom, Suroa
Tonkrabok, Central Pattaya, Soi 5 Thanwa, Soi Post Office, Khaotalo, Wat
Thamasamakee and Korpai communities. The course was co-organized under the
government administrative development project by the Institute of Management
and Law Development.
Social Security Department looking for permanent home for sub-branch
The Social Security Department of Chonburi Province
recently acknowledged some Pattaya entrepreneurs and their employees were
experiencing difficulties making their payments to officials.
The Social Security Department set up a mobile service
for the employers and employees each Wednesday at Pattaya City Hall. This
provision has been suspended since July 8, though, since the space was
needed for the Financial Department’s newly installed Coordinate
Social Security representatives said the department is
not being complacent and they’ve tried to find a place for the
installation of a permanent Social Security sub-branch for more convenience
for the employer and employee.
The department recently announced it has divided the
districts into groups. First district groups are Muang District, Panthong
District, Phanat Nikom District, Ban Bueng District, Srichang District, Bor
Thong District, Nong Yai District and Kor Chan District. These groups have
4,742 entrepreneurs and have 201,957 insurers. The second groups are
Sriracha District and Banglamung District, which 5,595 entrepreneurs and
The Social Security Department Provincial Chonburi has
submitted a request to the Social Security Department secretary-general for
approval to open a new branch in Sriracha District with the intention to
rent space in the Laem Thong Building No. 4/222 Village No. 10, Thung Sukla,
Sriracha District, located opposite the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate and
Laem Chabang Port. It is 5 km from Sahapat Industrial Group and 15 km from
the Bor Win Industrial Estate.
Long Boat races to compete for the Royal Princess Cup
Coming November 20-21 at Mabprachan reservoir
Chonburi Province, in conjunction with the Provincial
Administration Department in Pattaya City, TAT Central Region 3, local
officials and private organizations will organize the 4th Long Boat
competition to honor the Royal Highness Princess Theprattanasuda and
Princess Soamsawali, on November 20 - 21 at the Mabprachan reservoir on Soi
Siam Country Club.
the close finishes at last year’s event had the crowd on their feet.
Sontaya Khunplome, minister of tourism and sports is the
competition organizer. The 2-day event will also feature other contests,
including wind surfing, tom-tom native drums, buffalo racing and booths will be
set up selling One Tambon One Product goods. There will be plenty of fun, food
and activities for everyone to enjoy.
This is one of Thailand’s most colorful traditions and a
favorite with tourists and locals alike. The long boats have always played an
important role in Thai society. Throughout history communities along the
rivers, canals and waterways of the kingdom have depended on boats for fishing
and transporting goods.
One of Thailand’s most ancient and uniquely indigenous
boats is the ‘Rue Yao’ or Long Boat. Originally designed for battle against
aggressors, this unique and beautifully crafted vessel is now used in races.
Young, powerful rowers from towns along the waterways compete against each
other in crews of 30 and 55 rowers, in friendly rivalry to bring fun to this
vibrant celebration that pays tribute to nature’s gift of rain and water.
For more information contact the Nongprue sub-district Administrative Tel.
038-249820 or TAT Central Region 3 Tel. 038-428750 and 038-427667.
Pattaya Air & Fun Fly-In 2004
Air show pays tribute to Queen Sirikit’s 72nd birthday
Pattaya Air Park and Pattaya City have organized a
spectacular air show, “The Pattaya Air & Fun Fly-In 2004” to celebrate
the 72nd birthday of her Majesty the Queen. This is being done with support from
the Thai Aircraft Conservation and Development Foundation under the sponsorship
of His Majesty the King.
The air show is scheduled for November 11-14 at the Pattaya
Air Park airfield. This is the first event of its kind in Pattaya, but
organizers say it will be held annually in the future. It is part of a greater
plan to expand sporting events in Pattaya.
Group Commander Weerayut Disyasarin, the main supporter of
Fun Flying Thai Air Service Co. Ltd. heads the Thai Aircraft Conservation and
Development Foundation under the sponsorship of the King. Support from the Sport
Flying (Thailand) Association was also provided.
Thai air travel has rapidly grown in the past 10 years due to
support by official departments and private organizations that would like to see
an even greater increase in the number of pilots and privately owned aircraft in
the kingdom, as sport flying is very popular in other countries. However, in
Thailand, the number of pilots is low. This may be because the public doesn’t
have enough information and understanding about air travel, its high costs and
the rigorous training it takes to get a pilot’s license. The organizing
committees set up “The Pattaya Air & Fun Fly-In 2004” as a way to
publicize air travel and the joys of flying.
Each day will have many interesting activities including a
flying competition, parachute jumping, fiberglass and carbon fiber aircraft
construction, remote controlled airplane demonstrations, motocross shows, a
Harley show, and much more. Actors and singers will also participate in these
The air show will also emphasize participation from private
pilots, flying shows, flying competitions, a products booth, a flying
information exhibition, and a demonstration in repairing and assembling an
For more information regarding this event call 04-0717876 or
01-6595290 or visit websites www.pattayaairpark.com and/or
Traffic chaos over long Chulalongkorn Day weekend
A portent of things to come?
In what is most likely a portent of things to come, the
Chulalongkorn Day long weekend, October 23-25, saw a flood of motorists and
visitors to Pattaya causing long traffic delays at many of the city’s
major intersections. The almost tenfold increase in vehicles highlights the
need for a long term solution to Pattaya’s traffic woes.
was blocked over a kilometer along Sukhumvit Road during the Chulalongkorn
Day long weekend holiday.
From the early morning on Saturday, October 23, the influx
of visitors saw traffic blocked over a kilometer along Sukhumvit Road. Other
major arterials such as Central Pattaya Road, Pattaya and Jomtien Beach roads
experienced similar congestion. Police and volunteers were out in force. Police
blocked off intersections and u-turn points to keep the flow of vehicles
moving, albeit slowly.
One officer on duty told reporters, “The long weekend sees
many cars and people traveling from other provinces, causing major traffic
jams. Traffic officers were stationed at numerous points around the city to
keep things moving. Traffic-wise it’s chaos, but fortunately there have been
no serious accidents or incidents.”
Road congestion now occurs almost every weekend,
specifically during long holiday periods. Much of the cause is an increasing
number of visitors, including families from Bangkok who come to enjoy the
beaches and atmosphere.
Because of Pattaya’s relative proximity to Bangkok, Pattaya is
experiencing a resurgence in the number of Thai visitors, and as such, the
number of vehicles on the city’s roads triples, which highlights Pattaya
administration’s need to come up with a long term solution before the city
ends up like Bangkok: a traffic nightmare.
Sriracha Tiger zoo to re-open soon
Remaining tigers given clean bill of health
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi
Province is to re-open soon, as health authorities have found no evidence
of the bird flu virus in its remaining tigers. The zoo’s remaining 60
tigers all tested negative; however, zoo authorities plan to test the
tigers again for the avian flu virus before re-opening the zoo to the
Chairman of Sriracha Tiger Zoo Co. Ltd. Maitri
Temsiripong told reporters the zoo would not be opened until they receive
official permission from the government committee on bird flu.
The zoo owners are also working with the provincial
authorities on launching a fresh campaign to promote tourism to the
province to help counter the damage the zoo’s dead tigers may have done.
Dozens of tigers died recently from bird flu after
contracting the virus from raw chickens they were fed. (TNA)
Husband stabs wife
to death during argument
Police received a report of a stabbing death on Soi Sanam
Central Pattaya on October 22. When officers arrived at the scene they found
the body of a woman lying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk. An examination
of the victim revealed she’d been stabbed in the back 3 times. A nearby
motorcycle taxi driver said she had been fleeing for her life, but had fallen
to the pavement, dead, before anyone could help her.
The victim, later identified as Somruedee Pongrat, 24, from
Chaiyaphum, had been working at a beer bar on Soi 11 and living in a rented
room with her husband and a co-worker. Investigating officers went to the room
where they found blood on the floor and signs that a vicious struggle had
Somruedee’s husband, Surasak Weeraphan, 29, was not at
the room, but police questioned the roommate Sudapat Prommalee, 31, a cashier
at the same bar. Sudapat said that the couple had been fighting because the
husband refused to get a job, only staying home to mind their 2-year-old son.
The numerous quarrels centered on the fact that Surasak was content to let his
wife work as a prostitute to foreigners, rather than work himself.
The last argument was fatal for Somruedee. Surasak became
enraged and stabbed his wife in the back. Mortally wounded, Somruedee ran from
the room and died on the street in front of a motorcycle taxi stop. Surasak
fled the scene with his young son.
Surasak is a murder suspect and police are now searching
Broken-hearted foreigner attempts suicide
Police abort tragedy with words of comfort
At 2 p.m. on October 24, Pol. Capt. Siripop Sukkasi, Pattaya
criminal investigation officer received a report that a foreigner was trying to
cut his own throat at his 4th floor apartment on Soi Bua Khao. A team of police
raced to the scene investigate.
At the location of the drama, police found a foreigner,
dressed in a pair of shorts, sitting on a paint container on the balcony of the
fourth floor apartment. In his right hand was a 30cm knife and he was trying to
cut his own throat. Blood oozed from the self inflicted wounds as he also tried
to slit his wrists. The foreigner was also seen burning 15,000 baht in cash,
throwing it off the balcony and muttering that money had no meaning anymore,
since his girlfriend left him.
Police tried to calm the man down. Only after 30 minutes of
talking, in which police handed the distressed man some cool water, did he lay
down the knife and stop cutting himself.
The foreigner, an Irishman, was taken to hospital for
treatment as he had lost a substantial amount of blood.
When asked why he wanted to kill himself, he replied that he
was heartbroken that his girlfriend had walked out on him two months ago and he
hadn’t seen nor heard from her since. He decided to end his pain through
German resident loses patriotic bicycle in fire
At 1 a.m. on October 25, Pol. Capt. Anuchet Karssomboon,
Pattaya police criminal investigation unit received a report from local
residents that a fire had been started in front of a Beach Road shopping center.
The blaze engulfed a bicycle belonging to a retired German resident. Police
rushed to the scene to find tourists and residents dousing the flames of the
Kraft stands in disbelief that someone would burn his bicycle for no apparent
The bike’s owner, Peter Kraft, 62, stood over his burnt
bike in disbelief. He told police that had bought the bike for 2,800 baht at
the Big C shopping center and had decorated it with German flags and other
memorabilia, adding that he loved his homeland very much. He was very upset.
Kraft said that he bought the bike to ride around the city.
He said that he locked the bike, with some valuables still in the basket,
before going off to purchase some food.
Witnesses told police that they saw a male foreigner approach the bicycle
and set it alight before running off in the direction of South Pattaya. Pattaya
police are investigating the incident and intend to bring the foreign vandal to
Thai human trafficker arrested
8 illegal Cambodians will be deported
Suspecting a ring of illegal workers was operating in the
Pattaya/Rayong area, Immigration officers watched the movements of foreign
nationals being transported from Aranyapratet to Chonburi Province for jobs.
The surveillance paid off. Police stopped a Toyota pickup truck with Bangkok
license plates loaded with 8 Cambodians at the Krathinglai - Rayong
crossroads. The 8 aliens and driver, Songkran Bunphengpat, 34, from Nakhon
Nayok, were brought to the Pattaya Immigration office for questioning.
Bunphengpat was arrested for human trafficking.
When none of the Cambodians could produce legal
documentation, Songkran told officers about his operation. He said he
transported illegal Cambodian workers to Pattaya City construction sites and
fishing industries in Samaesarn sub-district, selling them for about 5,000 baht
per head, and admitted he’d been doing so for some time.
Police seized 7,000 baht in cash, and impounded the truck as
disputed property. Songkran was later charged with transporting and harboring
illegal aliens with the intent to sell them, and was transferred to Banglamung
Pol. Col. Itthipol Idthisarnronachai, Pattaya Immigration Superintendent
said that this arrest was made under the jurisdiction of Police Major General
Kowit Wattana, National Police director, who is tasked to strictly investigate
and enforce the law against alien traffic. The case was then assigned to Police
Major General Suthep Thammarak National Police assistant director who is
working in conjunction with Pattaya Police Immigration.
Korean man arrested for
stealing rental car
On October 23 Pattaya police investigation officers received
a report from Wittaya Bunserm, 30, that a Korean man had rented his car and
hadn’t returned it for over 1 month. Wittaya complained that the foreigner
had stolen his property, had not paid for the use of the car, and he wanted the
Keeping an eye out for the stolen car, police eventually
spotted the perpetrator, later identified as 22-year-old Korean citizen Seo
Jung Kyu, driving the vehicle in Soi Pattayaland 1, Second Road. Officers
detained Seo and charged him with property theft.
Worship candles set room
A female employee from a 7-Eleven store placed some burning
joss sticks on her worship shelf and forgot to extinguish them before leaving
for work. Later, the shelf caught on fire and nearly burned the whole building
At 3:00 a.m. on October 25, Pol. Captain Anuchet Katsomboon,
Pattaya Police criminal Investigation officer received notice that a fire was
raging at a rented room behind the Wanna Apartment Complex, Soi Sophon Cable
TV, Central Pattaya. The police went to the scene accompanied by 2 fire
At the scene they found smoke coming from the room on the
second floor. It was rented by Panprairin Juachan, 18, who was not in the room
at the time. Police forced their way in through the window and found the
worship shelf ablaze. Firefighters doused the fire and found a computer costing
around 20,000 baht was burned as well.
Panprairin turned up shortly after and told officers that
she had prayed before leaving for work at 10 p.m., and had come back because
her friend told her that her room was on fire.
Investigators are waiting for lab results to determine the
exact cause of the fire.
Gamblers and drug dealers
nabbed in a night’s work
Banglamung police investigators arrested 38 gamblers at a
makeshift gambling house in a Pattaya hotel. More than 50 people were shooting
dice when the raid occurred. But some got away as officers stormed the room.
The cops seized the gambling paraphernalia and detained
those who had failed to flee. Just as officers were taking the gamblers off to
jail, a car pulled into the hotel parking lot and three suspicious looking men
exited the vehicle. Alert for mischief, police detained the trio and a routine
search found Pichai Rotwattanawiboon, 47, from Sattahip, Nopparati Wohsongkram,
30, of Banglamung and Chaowalit Kramaisom from Chantaburi Province in
possession of one .38 caliber pistol and 8 bullets, and 2 packs of the class
one drug called Ice. They were later charged accordingly as were the group of
Officers are still investigating the case as to whether the
individuals are connected to a ring of gambling and drug dealing.
Sriracha Municipality to build “Kwan Yin” statue
Sriracha Municipality, Sriracha District Office, Council
of Cultural Affairs for Sriracha, and the Sriracha public are building the
biggest “Kwan Yin” goddess statue in Thailand.
biggest “Kwan Yin” goddess statue in Thailand is being built in Sriracha.
The statue is being made out of white jade, and it will be
erected at the Koh Loy Sriracha Public Park to honor His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej the Great on His 77th birthday, December 5, 2004.
The statue will be placed in a central elevated position for
the entire Thai population to see, and will be the new visiting and recreation
place for Chonburi.
The goddess Kwan Yin statue will be 4 meters high and will
be made of white marble and white jade from Myanmar, and will cost about 30
million baht. The money is being donated to the Sriracha Municipality by U-thai
Chailuekit. A Chinese Royal Palace master craftsman will carve the statue. Part
of the goddess Kwan Yin statue will have 2 disciples, which will be 2 meters
high and have an 80 cm joss stick pot.
The Bodhisattva, according to Mahayana principles, was
ordained by avatar in female form to be a daughter of King Meow Jong in China
2,300 years ago. The Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean Buddhists have
much respect for the Bodhisattva because of her help to release people of their
anxiety. Therefore this goddess, known as the goddess of compassion for her
sacred miracle performing power, is predestined to help people who are down on
The Sriracha Municipality would like to invite all believers to make a
donation to the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin statue fund at Muang Sriracha
Municipality. For more information contact tel. 038-312 007, and 038-314 060.
EDITORIAL: Drink and Drive - a death wish
The end of Buddhist Lent is a cause for celebration
throughout Thailand. It is an important ceremony on the Buddhist calendar,
with the majority of people making merit, releasing birds and fish, and
other traditional rituals which are performed by entire families as part of
the religious festivities.
However, there is a darker side following Buddhist Lent -
many people return to their former ways. Groups celebrate the end of
Buddhist Lent with a drinking session after abstaining for that period. They
drink themselves into festive oblivion, often ending in tragic road
Statistics from the office of health promotion reveal
that more people binge drink every year. Last year’s stats show that 5.4
million people engage in the activity, with over 500,000 of them under the
age of 18. Statistics also reveal that 40 percent of road accidents occur
within this age group and increase to a staggering 72 percent during annual
festivals and long weekends.
In October 2003, during the end of Buddhist Lent, there
were 6,770 injured in reported road accidents and 539 deaths, with 50.5
percent and 55.3 percent respectively occurring within the first day after
the end of Buddhist Lent. These figures are comparative to the September
2003 (during Lent) statistics with only 45 percent in the age group.
But the cycle doesn’t end here. Other annual festivals
such as Halloween - popular among the youth - Loy Krathong, ‘Tod Kratin’
ceremonies, all the way to New Year and Songkran festivals also see a
frightening rise in road accidents and fatalities during each holiday
Pattaya is another one of the many cities where
celebrations regularly take place. As a tourist city many visitors flock
here during the holiday period and long weekends, especially during the more
colorful festivals. It is also one of the areas in Chonburi, along with 10
other provinces, where the push to reduce drunk driving road accidents is
Despite police efforts and law enforcement measures,
authorities are lacking in human and technical resources. This leads to less
convenient travel for visitors as well as the opportunity for drunk drivers
to take their chances on the road, many times leading to accidents, loss of
life and property.
Even with laws in place and their fuzzy enforcement, the
safety of all road users and drunk drivers lies with the people themselves,
in having enough common sense, understanding and responsibility to do the
right thing rather than endangering the lives of innocent people as well as
their own. Drunk driving shatters lives; the innocent are left to pick up
the pieces, through no fault of their own.
It’s time we as human beings make an effort to reduce
road accidents by practicing some discipline, or more people are fated to
die on our roads. Drunk driving is just another death wish.