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Phuket Heroines Festival reduced to merit-making activities only

Phuket Heroines Festival reduced to merit-making activities only

PHUKET: Fears of COVID spreading have seen the annual festival to celebrate the island’s two famed Heroines for this year reduced to merit-making activities only.

cultureCOVID-19
By The Phuket News

Thursday 14 January 2021, 05:04PM


All festivities that draw large crowds have been cancelled, including the popular light-and-sound show during which the battle of the Phuket Heroines is recreated. Photo: The Phuket News / file

All festivities that draw large crowds have been cancelled, including the popular light-and-sound show during which the battle of the Phuket Heroines is recreated. Photo: The Phuket News / file

The annual Heroines Festival, celebrating the defeat of Burmese marauders attempting to take Phuket in 1785, is usually over three weeks, with festivities centred at Thalang Victory Field, the site marked as where the two Heroines, Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, led the Phuket contingent in repelling the Burmese invasion.

Festivities traditionally include the usual Thai fair stalls of food and live entertainment, including a light and sound show, which has now been cancelled.

This year the festival will feature only merit-making activities, Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong has announced.

V/Gov Piyapong explained that organisers’ primary concern was the spread of COVID-19, leading to the decision to not include any festivities that will lead to large gathering of people.

“We are thinking of the social risk and safety as our priority,” V/Gov Piyapong said.

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“We will still hold the festival with some religious activities under the New Normal measures, but we will control the number of people allowed to attend each activity,” he added.

As such, only two activities involving the blessings of Buddhists monks and the traditional wreath-laying ceremony will be held this year.

A mass ordination of monks to bless the two Heroines will be held at Wat Thepwanaram (Wat Manik), in Baan Manik, Thalang, on Mar 6.

In the morning of Mar 12, merit-making ceremonies will be held at Wat Muang Komanraphat, the temple closest to Thalang Victory Field.

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.

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Kurt | 16 January 2021 - 11:06:18

Merit doing from heart is fine. Regimental Merit doing  just for continues repeating compulsive control over people ( do this, do that, wear that color shirt, no cap/with cap, sword/no sword, etc) are artificial doings under false 'cultural' flag. A way for Officialdom to measure obedience.

Pascale | 15 January 2021 - 13:10:04

@Kurt  For years now you have your problems with merit making activities. Especially if a Governor is involved. FYI , those merit makings are part of the culture here. If you have a problem with that, you should choose another country to reside.

Kurt | 15 January 2021 - 10:19:44

Merit making activities only? Hm, I wait for the photos with groups of Monks and Officials together, without 1.5 m social distance around every person. Togetherness of groups should be prevented. Skipping this Merit doings 1 year will not initiate a earthquake on Phuket. See it as 'Merit doing' not assemble as gesture of social distance respect.

 

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