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  1. #11
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps

    Blossoms and romance
    By By Chusri Ngamprasert
    Daily Xpress
    Published on October 2, 2009

    Tradition and folklore are celebrated as Samut Prakarn marks the end of the Buddhist Lent

    If you're looking for a fun-filled weekend that will satisfy your soul but doesn't involve a long drive from Bangkok, look no fur ther than the Lotus Festival. Taking place today and tomorrow in Samut Prakan's Bang Phli district, this annual celebration marks the end of three-month-long Buddhist Lent retreat.

    The Lotus Festival, or "Rab Bua" in Thai, harks back to the good old days when much of local life depended on the river. It takes place around Wat Bang Phli Yai (better known as Wat Luang Phor To) and the old marketplace, which borders the Samrong canal.

    According to local folklore, lotus fields covered much of Bang Phli, a large wetland to the east of Bangkok, around 100 years ago. Once a year in October, the communities of Thais, Laotians, Mons and Chinese - who lived, farmed and traded around Wat Bang Phli Yai - would select the finest lotus flowers to honour Luang Phor To Buddha.

    The lotus fields have mostly gone now, cleared to make way for new industrial and housing estates. Religious belief has not been eroded though, and Luang Phor To Buddha is still honoured every October with the blooms of old.

    The Lotus Festival draws thousands of visitors and devotees alike. As the sun rises tomorrow morning, locals will line the banks of the Samrong canal offering guests lotuses to throw on the passing boat, which carries the replica of sacred Luang Por To.

    "It tends to be a bit of a hit-or-miss affairs, as there are always too many people trying to throw the lotuses into one boat," says a sweet vendor in Bang Phli's old marketplace. "People are everywhere, on the small towpath as well on the bridges over the canal. You don't walk, you just go with the flow, as the crowd keeps pushing you ahead."

    The merit making ceremony is also a good time for romance to blossom.

    "Many young men try to pick up the lotuses from beautiful women," notes a fish farmer who lives behind Suvarnabhumi airport. "If you can make it and receive a flower from a girl, there's a chance to win her heart. She's probably your soul mate."

    During both days of the festival, the people of Samut Prakan entertain visitors with traditional folk songs like phleng rua, folk games like saba thoi and saba bon, as well as beauty contests, boat races, a tug-of-war, and a boat-decorating competition.

    For many, the highlight is the "sea boxing", which sees two combatants hanging by their legs on wooden bar over the water trying to push each other into the water.

    Hungry celebrants will find a range of mouth-watering delicacies up for sale in the old marketplace, among them authentic Thai sweets, home-cooked curries and seafood BBQ.

  2. #12
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps

    I have just received the schedule for the Governor for tomorrow. He is scheduled to open the event at the District Office in Bang Phli at 8.30 a.m. This is number (2) in the satellite map at the top of this thread. Most people will watch the parade in front of Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai. The boat should be leaving there shortly after 7.30 a.m. We are planning on being there by about 6.45 a.m. We are expecting it to be already very crowded by that time. Parking will also be difficult. Maybe best to park on the main road. I am thinking of parking over at Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang (The Reclining Buddha Temple) as this is close to the finishing line. Then catch a motorcycle taxi from there. This solves the traffic jam problems. I also want to be able to get out quickly to head down to Chonburi for the Buffalo Racing afterwards.

  3. #13
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps



    It has been a long day, but finally back home. I took nearly 700 pictures today at the Rub Bua Festival and the Buffalo Festival. I am processing the pictures and videos now and will upload more pictures tonight and tomorrow. I think Panrit will be posting some of his pictures here as well.



    It was raining very hard this morning and we thought that the day would be spoiled. But, it cleared up just in time but then became extremely hot.



    ----------------------------
    Samut Prakan Online News

  4. #14
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps

    Here are some of my photos from "Rub Bua" festival this years:



    I arrived there at about 6.30 a.m. It was pretty early but I still couldn't find a nice position to take photos! The place was crowded, I had to run around and try to get to the front. It wasn't easy at all, maybe next year I have to go there earlier!





    Support the forum and chat rooms and buy computer software and books for learning Thai at www.BuyThaiBooks.com

  5. #15
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps



    While Gor was fighting the crowds to find a good position I was down on a boat on the canal. Can you see him in this picture? You might have better luck with the picture below.



    ------------------------------------
    Online Weekly News for Samut Prakan

  6. #16
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps

    Maybe next year I can go on the boat and you can fight the crowds!!!

  7. #17
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Panrit "Gor" Daoruang View Post
    Maybe next year I can go on the boat and you can fight the crowds!!!
    Lol

    It looks like a great festival and as usual everone is smiling.

    With everyone pushing and jostling for a good position, I would be surprised if no-one fell into the river.

    Nice photos Richard and Gor. Thanks for posting them.

  8. #18
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps



    These are the first of my photos for the Lotus Throwing Festival in Bang Phli. We had some very heavy rain earlier in the morning and the start was delayed by about 40 minutes or so. This first picture shows the boat that I was on at about 7.30 a.m. There were no seats and it was wet. A few times big boats went passed fast and we also got splashed a lot.

    www.paknam.com/latest-news/the-lotus-throwing-festival.html



    Here are some people waiting near the Bang Phli Old Market. They would have to wait at least an hour or so. Some of them had already been there since about 6 a.m.



    This is in front of Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai. Panrit said that shortly after he arrived, at about 6.45 a.m., the boat with the Buddha image came by on its way to the starting line. Some people threw their lotus flowers at this time. He said he saw some people then go home. Maybe they thought that was the main event.



    Here I have already passed the main road bridge and I am looking back. The police will clear this bridge before the Buddha arrives on the boat so you shouldn't stand in the middle.



    These last two pictures are local people waiting on their boats for the Buddha to arrive.



    ------------------------------------
    Samut Prakan Online Weekly News

  9. #19
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps



    This is my first glimpse of the boat carrying the revered Buddha image.



    In this shot, some people at the starting line are trying to throw their lotus flower onto the lap of the Buddha. If they can do that then their wish will come true. One guy tried too hard and fell into the water. You can see his splash on the left.



    This is one of the floats that followed along in the parade.



    Here are some of the people waiting for the boat to arrive. I am uploading my video now and will link to it shortly. You really need to watch it to fully appreciate this festival. It is really intense.







    ------------------------------------
    Samut Prakan Online Weekly News

  10. #20
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    Re: Rub Bua Festival 2009 - Pictures and Maps



    This is looking back to the road bridge and Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai on the right. The rain had stopped by this time.



    This is a closer look of the road bridge. Gor is on the far left above the red poster for Coca Cola. I think the bridge was cleared of pedestrians and cars as far as here.



    This is showing the two motors at the back of the boat carrying the Buddha.



    These are some of the men who had to try and catch the lotus flowers and help pile them up around the Buddha. I think they got hit quite a few times. I certainly did!



    This is the Buddha image. It is actually a replica of the original but it is still revered.



    The rowers in traditional Thai costumes on one of the floats.



    The dancing entertainment which helped to add to the atmosphere.



    Some of the onlookers saying a quick prayer as the boat carrying the Buddha approached.

    My video has already been uploaded to youtube but it is still being processed.

    ------------------------------------
    Samut Prakan Online Weekly News

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