Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2005 bursts into bloom
annual Flower Festival in Chiang Mai was officially opened on February 5 by
the Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat at the Nawarat Bridge.
many blossoms and how many people were needed to make this car?
Chiang Mai is known for its beautiful winter flowers
which blossom in the cold season. The festival has become a ‘must see’
event in Chiang Mai and is included in the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s
audience had fun, the jurors had fun and the pretty Miss Flower Blooms 2005
enjoyed it even more
This year’s winter season was more charming than
previous years drawing a huge number of tourists to visit Chiang Mai, said
Governor Suwat Tantipat.
As Thais believe that number nine is lucky, the festival
was opened at 8.09 a.m. Lanna style Sabud Chai drumming was performed and
children performed Thai traditional dances before the procession of 30
‘Flower Wat’ driving through the streets of Chiang Mai during the parade
Two baby elephants, “Nong Hong” and “Nong Jarb”,
were the highlight of the procession. Visitors were stunned by the
elephants’ painting talent and their ability to play the mouth organ. The
elephants put a big smile on the face of governor Suwat when they handed him
their flowers and paintings.
Yupparaj School’s floral float won the beauty category
contest while Mae Taeng district and San Sai district were named first and
second runners up.
In the creativity category, the winner was Muang district
while San Pathong and Hang Dong districts were runners up. Sarepee district
had the most conservative float with Mae Rim and San Kamphaeng close behind.
people this was the main attraction, the artistic elephants who were fully
concentrated and in their own flowery world
The previous day, Miss Flower Beauty Pageant was staged
at the Nong Buak Had public Park.
Twenty four beautiful women entered the contest.
Patcharida Duangpurong, 20, from the Faculty of Engineering was crowned Miss
Bor Sang is as year’s Flower Queen. Theptewee Pohmchai from the Hair Color
Institute and Maliwan Tueksiri from Mandalay, Chiang Mai were runners up.
flowers wherever you looked. Even the elephants painted huge flower bouquets
winners of this years’ Miss International Flower Bloom 2005. American
Jenna Elisabeth Nordberg (20) who studies at CMU, with First Runner Up
(right) Belgian Katrien Annie de Caestecker (28) from ‘Your House’ guest
house and Second Runner Up (left) Japanese Miss Shibata (20) from Banana
Guest House. They received their trophies from Ornadda Tantipat (far right),
the wife of Chiang Mai governor.
Another 20 women joined the International Flower Beauty
Contest. Jenna Elizabeth Nordberg, an American exchange student at Chiang
Mai University was crowned the queen while Katrien Annie de Caestecker, 28,
from Belgium became the first runner up and a Japanese lady, Misa Shibata,
20, the second runner up.
Ornadda Tantipat, the president of Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross,
presented the crowns and awards.
say what is more beautiful, the blossoms or the young girls with their
Jazz, King Cake and Gumbo
Mardi Gras, New Orleans Style 2005
One date in Chiang Mai’s social events calendar that is
looked forward to by a number of people from the community, no matter what
nationality, is the annual Mardi Gras Party, where New Orleans natives Frank
Weicks and Becky Lomax share their custom of “an authentic Mardi Gras”
with their friends.
male and best female costumes went to the pale ‘Morticia Addams’ who
even brought a decorated broomstick and the pregnant male miracle Ms. Hardy,
seen with the hosts and the trophies.
How can you describe Mardi Gras? It is a party but also
it is a social tradition with a long colorful history, deeply connected with
religion which did not become an organized ‘drink and party festival’
until the 1900’s. And contrary to popular opinion, it is not a one day
affair. The ‘real’ carnival starts about 12 days after Christmas and
ends on Mardi Gras Day (a Tuesday, from which the name Mardi comes,
literally “Fat Tuesday” in French). The following day is Ash Wednesday,
the beginning of Lent.
Chiang Mai Mardi Gras however was celebrated with the
main aspect on New Orleans food - traditional New Orleans food, cooked by
the hosts, and nothing was missing. It was not a night to count calories, it
was a ‘just eat it’ celebration, properly accompanied by jazz. Turkey
and Andouille Sausage Gumbo with just the right hot kick, red beans and
rice, guacamole dips, grits and of course the most important dish of the
day, the King Cake, which is similar to brioche, a sweetened yeast bread
with a strawberry cream filling. Halloween, Easter and a birthday wrapped
The majority of the guests took the chance to come in fancy (or ugly)
dress. The evening ended with the awarding of the trophies for best male and
best female costumes, taken home this years by Ms. Hardy and Morticia. The
rest of the guests just stayed on, had a ball, and started thinking about
what to wear at Mardi Gras 2006.
King Cake is not only for you!!! A ‘dangerous looking’ situation for
Frank Weicks, but Lance Lewis (middle) seems to have everything under
It was a
feast, not only the huge pot of turkey and andouille sausage gumbo but
anything on the long New Orleans homemade buffet. (From front to back) Hardy
Hardcastle, Richard Dixon, June Wongmalee, and Lynn Hastings.
cozy and just so much to catch up on - old and new friends sitting around
everywhere and chatting.
Academie du Chateaubriant visits Chez Gibus
If you think that Chateaubriant should be written with a
‘d’ at the end, rest assured, you are correct. However, both ways are
acceptable, but the people of the small town Chateaubriant, near the river
banks of the river Loire favor the ‘t’ ending.
of the certificate. (From left) Michel Charron, Madame Besson, chef and
restaurateur Alain Besson, and Janine Charron.
Chateaubriant, not a French version of English beefsteak
but named after the French writer and statesman Francois Rene, Vicomte de
Chateaubriand, is known all over the world. The real Chateaubriant is
300-400 grams of first class meat. To prepare such a thick piece of meat
needs sensitivity, a smooth touch and an excellent chef.
Charron, archivist of the ‘Academy du Chateaubriant’ with Michael Vogt,
Hon. Charge de Mission of ‘La Chaine des Rotisseurs’ and Pascale
Clemensart from Chiang Mai.
Today the Academie Du Chateaubriant, a French gastronomic
society founded in Chateaubriant in 1994, is devoted to promoting fine
dining and the real preparation of Chateaubriant in its broadest sense. The
members of this association see themselves as ambassadors for their region
and whenever they tour the world they try to find restaurateurs worthy to
receive the certificate of their association. Once finding a suitable
restaurant and chef, he is approached and another ‘tasting’ date is set
up with friends, professionals and the representatives of the academy as the
full honors with academic gown and mortarboard, Michel Charron gave an
explanation of the history.
For Chiang Mai this was a ‘first’ with archivist the
French couple Michel Charron and his wife Janine, presiding over the dinner
at ‘Chez Gibus’. It was a true French event, with Michel Charron
enlightening the ‘taste testers’, with regards to the region and its
But the real pleasure came after Chef Alain served his
Chateaubriant, so tender that it was almost melting in your mouth and
grilled to perfection, with different sauces to accompany the beef.
between friends, M. Aime, and M. Maime.
It was a great evening of fine dining and camaraderie, ending with Michel
Charron presenting Alain with his certificate, and saying he was pleased to
have found a restaurant in the North of Thailand which honors the art of