Bangpra’s Phaya Yom festival grows bigger

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Bangpra is upsizing is traditional Songkran celebration, this year throwing its grandest Hae Phaya Yom procession and Thai New Year festival April 17-18.

Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization President Wittaya Kunplome unveiled the plans and schedule for the Sriracha event April 2 at Chonburi’s Municipal Sports Stadium. He said Chonburi has allocated 1 million baht this year to expand the traditional celebration of Phaya Yom, a beneficial god of the sea and wind.

(L to R) Bangpra Mayor Somjet Ketwattha, Chonburi PAO President Wittaya Kunplome and Panthusak Ketwattha announce the upcoming festive event. (L to R) Bangpra Mayor Somjet Ketwattha, Chonburi PAO President Wittaya Kunplome and Panthusak Ketwattha announce the upcoming festive event.

Bangpra Mayor Somjet Ketwattha explained that Phaya Yom is believed to be a guardian of the Bangpra beach community. During times of strong storms, residents have prayed to the deity and the waves and wind have subsided. The parade honoring Lord Phaya, Somjet said, is unique to Bangpra.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. April 17 with the “Pathomboth Bangpra Nariyabaan” music and light show filled with performances incorporating local traditions so today’s youth can pass on the customs, he said.

A figure of a seated Lord Phaya Yom then will be carried to drumbeats from Bangpra Market to the beach where rice and dried food is offered to the spirits. After the merit-making ceremony, residents will turn the statue toward the sea and let it be carried into the water, setting free bad spirits and bring peace to the community.  Games and entertainment will follow.

For more information call 038-357-999 or online at BangphraChon.go.th.