The annual festival last year was reduced to merit-making activities only by order of the Ministry of Public Health amid COVID-19 concerns, and in January it was announced that the annual festival this year also had been reduced to merit-making activities only.
From Mar 13 to 15, as its tradition, a light-and-sound show and historical play will be performed at Phuket Historical Park – for many years called Thalang Victory Field – in Baan Riang, Thalang, the reported site of the battle where the Burmese marauders were defeated, Governor Narong said at a press conference held at the Limelight Avenue shopping mall in Phuket Town.
Present at the conference were Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) President Rewat Areerob, Phuket Cultural Office Chief Chantana Sitthiphan and other relevant officials, along with representatives from The Heroines Association, which organises the festival
“From 4pm on, there will be traditional dance shows, installation arts and a shopping area where people can buy local OTOP products and ready-to-eat foods,” Governor Narong said.
The Heroines Festival celebrates the two sisters, Chan and Mook, who led the Phuket contingent in repelling the Burmese invasion in 1785.
As a part of the annual festival, a mass ordination of monks to honour the two Heroines was held at Wat Thepwanaram (Wat Manik), in Baan Manik, Thalang, last Saturday (Mar 6).
In the morning of Mar 12, merit-making ceremonies will be held at Wat Muang Komanraphat, the temple closest to Phuket Historical Park.
On Mar 13, there will be the annual wreath-laying ceremony and the recitals of praises for Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn at the Heroines Monument on Thepkrasattri Rd.
“The festival is held to honour Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn and the brave heroes of Thalang, and to support the historical tourism of Phuket,” Governor Narong said.
“This year, the fest will be held under the concept ‘Thalang lives connecting seaport, ancestors’ dedication, land of warriors’,” he explained.
The move to allow the festival to be held as usual – albeit with COVID-19 control measures in place – comes as the central government aims to support domestic tourism across the country in the hope of steering the economy out of its current state.
In supporting the drive to improve the national economy, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha just yesterday insisted that Songkran celebrations be held to revitalise the struggling tourism industry.
People would be allowed to travel across the country to celebrate, PM Prayut said, but each area must impose measures to prevent the virus spreading.
Gen Prayut said he wanted to see the economy improve and people’s income boosted by tourism activities over the long holiday.
He therefore vowed to ease restrictions ahead of the festival so that people had enough time to plan their trips and make hotel reservations.