Lor Kor Tin is a red Chinese drum passed down from generation to generation. The instrument is a symbol of the “power of the ruler and the destiny of the army in China”. Drums are brought out whenever there are ceremonies or festivities.
The Vegetarian Festival is one such event, demanding the insistent beat of drums and iron bells.
The winning team in this year’s event were members of the Lor Kor Tin association of Bang Niew Shrine.
Though the exact origin of the Chinese drum is still a subject of debate, ancient literature indicates that it is at least as old as the Shang Dynasty – 3,600 years ago – illustrations having been found on tortoise shell and animal bone artifacts from that time.
The competition was attended by AirAsia’s manager for Phuket, Arun Lilapansithi, who stated he was “proud to be able to see the old Chinese drumming techniques being passed on from generation to generation, allowing old Hokkien traditions to live on”.
Five teams competed this year, judged mostly on technique and how well they did in comparison with the winning Jui Tui shrine team last year who released a Lor Kor Tin Drum CD.
Chanchai Duangjit, Director of the TAT in Phuket, told The Phuket News that the Lor Kor Tin event was “a fine start” to the Vegetarian Festival as it “gives tourists an insight into the origins of Thai-Hokkien people living in Phuket”.
He also noted that so far this year the Vegetarian Festival has not been affected by torrential rain or floods, as happened last year. As a result the number of tourists watching events is estimated to be 30 per cent higher, a good boost for the tourism industry.