Vol. V No. 20 - Saturday May 13, - May 19, 2006
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OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

First day covers sought by collectors

Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha Honored in traditional Ceremonies

CEC Members Learn about Botany

First day covers sought by collectors

Nopniwat Krailerg and Preeyanoot Jittawong
Post Office Area 5, Chiang Mai organized a stamp exhibition on May 5-9, 2006 on the third floor of Kad Suan Kaew Department Store. The post office had prepared stamps showing images of HM the King for residents to purchase for their stamp collections.

Stamps depicting the 60 year anniversary of the ascension to the throne of HM the King.
This exhibition aimed to honor HM King Bhumibol on the occasion of the 60 year anniversary of his ascension to the throne. The exhibition displayed the first set of coronation stamps with images of the King shown in six styles, which were offered for sale at 18 baht per set. Chiang Mai Post Office had a limited quota of 2,100 sets and this attracted many keen philatelists. The stamps could also be bought over the internet, but sales were restricted to only one set per person.
There were many other stamps representing the works of King Rama IX; as well as a souvenir sale, a questionnaire to complete for prizes and a sale of photographic postcards. The latest set of diamond jubilee stamps was released on May 9, 2006 printed with an image of HM the King and was offered for sale at 100 baht per set. More information is available from Post Office Area 5, Chiang Mai or by phoning 053-279761.


Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha Honored in traditional Ceremonies

Ritual water and Pha Trai (set of monk’s robes) presented in Wai Sa Parami Tradition 1

5 May 2006: The traditional ceremonies of Wai Sa Parami (presentation of a new set of robes to Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha) and Tiaw Kuen Doi (walking up the mountain) commenced with a celebration at the Three Kings Statue in Chiang Mai.

People ritually bathing the Buddha at Wat Lok Mo Lee diring Wai Sa Parami Tradition.
Udornphan Chantarawiroj, a layman, was honored to be president of ritual water and Pha Trai presentation to the Busabok Carriage (a vehicle used in the important ceremony) and led a parade along Phra Pok Klao Road to present them at Wat Lok Mo Lee on May 5–10. Every evening there will be a ceremony, called “Cha Roen Phra Phutamon”, preaching, celebrating ritual water and Pha Trai for people to join in worship.
On the evening of May 11, there will be ritual water and a set of monk’s robes presented; the parade will move from the courtyard in front of Kru Ba Sri Wichai Statue to Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha, called “Pra Phe Nee Tiaw Kuen Doi” by Chiang Mai people. Ritual water and set of monk’s robes will be presented to Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha in the morning of the next day, Visakha Puja Day.
People will offer food to 500 monks and present other offerings. In the afternoon, there will be a royally sponsored ritual water presentation and 10 ranking rank monks will pray for good luck.
Both the Wai Sa Parami at Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha Tradition and Tiaw Kuen Doi Tradition are not only to follow the ancient tradition of Chiang Mai, but also to celebrate the 635th year of Doi Suthep Statue of Buddha and 60th year of ascending to the throne of His Majesty.
On May 9-11, Wat Suan Dok together with Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University and Arts and Culture Promotion Office of Chiang Mai University will organize an event, called “Wan Wisakha Tham Kee Ta 2006” with the same purpose with as the two previous traditions. It is also to celebrate the repair of Statue of Buddha pagoda at Wat Suan Dok, to celebrate the beauty of music, to promote respect for differences of culture, and to create unity in the community through art.


CEC Members Learn about Botany

An interesting encounter.

Thirty-five Chiang Mai Expats Club members and friends met at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens early Saturday morning, May 7. Don Lee of the Club had organized this and had arranged for a Garden botanist, Piyakaset Saksathan (Et) to be our guide amongst the myriad varieties of plants.
It took two trams to carry all of us and we changed our seats to get to know one another or to get another perspective. Our first stop was at the Medicinal Plant house. The plants are all labelled with their Latin names, and these medicinal plants had the uses written in Thai only, so Et described many of their uses to us. One of them, Euphorbia Tiracali, which had miniscule leaves, had sap described as poisonous and could cause blindness unless it was mixed with another substance, at which time it could help muscle spasms.
The next stop was the Thai Plant house, many of which were familiar to us. Then the Arid Plant house which had many cactus and succulents, all equipped with leaves and stems to conserve water. Some of these plants had pasts that extended back to prehistoric times. We were told that the older ones had separate male and female plants, whereas the more modern ones have become more efficient with both sexes in one (hermaphrodite). Many of the cacti were familiar from the United States southwest deserts.
We walked over to the Tropical Rainforest house, the largest glasshouse at the Garden which has a walkway in the treetops 20 feet up. Many of these plants are familiar to South Thailand. Et pointed out leaves that are used for cooking. One of the more unusual plants there was what is commonly called Boog, a thick, light green, spotted stalk that would grow up to eight feet high before spreading its small succulent branches.
We went to the Orchid house which had a wonderful variety, many common to Northern Thailand. Ferns and bromeliads (pineapple, Spanish moss, etc) lived there also.
After a short break we got back into the trams to stop at the climbers, the arboretum and the orchid nursery on the way back to our cars. We finished our outing with a fine Thai lunch at one of the local orchid farms.
Piyakaset Saksathan plans to speak to the Club about plants in Thailand at the June 10th meeting.



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