Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Hungry ghosts, red turtles - The Por Tor Festival

The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars is a classic Chinese text of Confucian family piety written by Guo Jujing during the Yuan dynasty (1260–1368). The text is an example of, in certain cases, extreme actions to fulfilling familial obligations. From killing offspring to free up their ration of food, breastfeeding toothless grandparents to tales of rather gruesome self harm, it’s not without its controversy nor for the faint of heart.

Community
By David Jacklin

Friday 31 August 2018, 12:00PM


If you visit the ornate Hok Nguan Kung Shrine just off the Surin ‘Clocktower’ Circle, enter through the dragon-adorning pillared entrance, and through the heavy musk of the incense blackened shrines you will find a wall tiled with illustrations depicting scenes from this ancient text.

Thankfully the moral duties to loved ones have lightened up a touch these days. This week the Por Tor festival held a series of processions and celebrations with a focal point around the ornate Chinese temples and shrines across Phuket Town.

Por Tor, or the ‘Hungry Ghost’ festival, is also all about merit making to your family, all be it deceased ones. For this is the month that restless ancestors are released from hell for their annual visit. Families in modern times need only to offer gifts and prayers to appease these wandering souls, while also gaining merit for their own selfless actions. Most notably is the offering of a red cake in the shape of a turtle, which is hoped awards the giver longevity.

Most charming of all are the processions in which the local community of dignitaries, officials and school children dress up in traditional clothing, including Chinese silk Cheongsam dresses, and parade through the town. On Monday (Aug 27) the people gathered at the Queen Sirikit Park at noon for the parade along Phuket Rd and Rassada Rd through to the main festivities in Ranong Rd.

The start of proceedings included the Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana leading the candle lighting and incense ceremony next to the golden sea dragon statue which fronts the park.

QSI International School Phuket

This was followed by an integrated and elegant performance of the traditional Thai and Chinese fan dances at the main stage, marking the cultural fusion of the festival in modern Phuket.

The procession then gets underway, with each section fronted by a banner depicting the proceeding group or school. Young adults and school children are the focus of the parade in their beautiful traditional dress, and carrying a variety of gifts to calm the groans of the hungry ghosts. It’s endearing enough to want to make a return journey from the other side.

Through the evening along Ranong Rd market vendors sell local street food delicacies, while a range of performances entertain the crowds on a main stage set up further along the street.

It’s a joy to see tradition upheld at this family-orientated event. Those peckish spectres must be satiated.

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Thai Navy seize IUU boat off Phuket

Have a look at OneOcean's 3rd World European Website. It is a Not For Profit Non-Government outf...(Read More)


Thai Navy seize IUU boat off Phuket

The vessel had never undertaken IUU Fishing as it is not a Fishing Vessel. The only thing they have...(Read More)


Thai Navy seize IUU boat off Phuket

The Phuket Maritime Circus Continues. I hope all of these anti IUU Fishing Turkeys attended the 6th ...(Read More)


Pickup truck u-turn leaves Myanmar mother dead, partner and son in ICU

so there were 3 people on the motorbike (illegal) 2 people without helmets(illegal) they should also...(Read More)


Phuket gets a new mascot

Well, that's a worthwhile spend of B130k!...(Read More)


Phuket Immigration clarifies TM28, 24-hour reporting ‘exceptions’

Retirees and spouses to be harassed on a scale comparable to a sex offender. [sighs] So is there a ...(Read More)


Pickup truck u-turn leaves Myanmar mother dead, partner and son in ICU

Is well on time and build concrete dividers on all roads in Phuket....(Read More)


Phuket Immigration clarifies TM28, 24-hour reporting ‘exceptions’

Except on same webpage below the graphic in thai it says all foriegners are now not required to repo...(Read More)


Thai Navy seize IUU boat off Phuket

Nothing, illegal, unregulated with registered Uthaiwan. Vessel built in NL, 1977. Imo Nr: 7637527. ...(Read More)


Phuket Immigration clarifies TM28, 24-hour reporting ‘exceptions’

So this is the latest ambiguous statement of nonsensical BS to come out of Immigration in the past w...(Read More)