Residents celebrate Inthakin festival
The Inthakin festival also known as the festival of the City Pillar at Wat
Chedi Luang temple was held this year from the 13th of May and ended on the
sacred City Pillar can only be seen during the yearly festival in May.
Crowds of people came to make merit which is called “Tam Boon Khan Dok” by
offering flowers, candle and joss stick on the bowls in the forecourts of
the temple to invoke blessings of peace, happiness and prosperity for Chiang
Mai and its residents.
The City Pillar was erected in the year 1839 B.E or 1296 C.E during the
reign of King Mengrai, the first King of Lanna Kingdom when he established
the monarch city “Nopburee Sri Nakorn Ping Chiang Mai” or Chiang Mai at
The City Pillar was first located in the Wat Sadue Muang temple (Temple of
City’s Navel) or Wat Intakhin temple near the Three Kings Monument. Years
later when King Kawila governed Chiang Mai that temple fell into disrepair
for over 100 years. The Inthakin Pillar was then moved to Wat Chedi Luang
temple in 2343 B.E. or 1800 C.E.
The people of Chiang Mai believe that the City Pillar contains the souls of
former townspeople and it is considered one of Chiang Mai’s sacred sites. It
is now housed in its own special shrine called Viharn Jaturamook. The Pillar
can only be seen during the festival dates and women are not permitted to
enter the shrine but can view it through the entrance portals while men may
enter and pray.
Vice-Governor of Chiang Mai
Krisdaporn Siempakdee pours water over the Fon Saan Haa Buddha statue.
The image of Buddha proceeding
to the temple during the Inthakin festival.
Buakan Kinaman sells flowers
for the merit making ceremonies.
A young boy writing his name
on a brick to be used to upkeep the temple roof.
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
Temporarily on holiday in England
Last week I mentioned that tickets for the Barbra
Streisand concert in London were priced at 500 quid or around 33,000 baht
for the best seats. Reputedly the demand far exceeds supply even in the vast
02 arena, formerly the Millennium Dome.
To justify the exorbitant price Babs says that some of the proceeds will go
towards work offsetting global warming. Let’s hope that she does not fly
over here by private jet with her entourage as most super stars now do,
rather than simply inhabit a normal trans-Atlantic jet. Nor insist that her
suite is completely redecorated in the ‘color of her mood’ at the moment.
Last time it was yellow and even then she wanted to change the suite when
she discovered that Woody Allen had the ‘better’ one, a floor above hers.
Still the foibles of such personalities are part and parcel of their life
and demands. At the same Park Lane hotel another star, once married to an
even bigger named actor (well bigger in star value if not in height) always
insisted on the huge commercial washer-dryers being given a complete cycle
whilst empty before here personal clothing was washed, entirely separate
from all other. She also had her own bed linen, duvets etc. flown in as part
of her baggage. With such behavior it is difficult to see how the problems
the world faces in terms of consumption of energy will ever really be
tackled. Certainly I have seen little evidence in Thailand that people take
recycling or other allied maters seriously.
The same applies to smoking of course. But in England we are marching
towards July 1 when no smoking in ALL public places will be enforced. This
is already the case in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and it does not
seems to have harmed the restaurants and bars that feared it would stop
being eating and drinking in them. It applies to offices, shops and
thousands of other places as well. Even some beaches are smoke free in
Bournemouth. Try that in Pattaya.
Elections, dare I mention them? Are they still scheduled for December in
Let’s hope so, but I doubt whether the 85% turn out achieved in France in
May will be echoed here, anymore than it was in the UK, also in May. Both
sets of elections caused some excitement, the one in France because it came
down to a battle between the right and the left and the right won.
In Britain the elections were for local councils and for the Welsh Assembly
and the Scottish Parliament, where the Scottish Nationalists scraped in with
a majority of one seat. In neither did a party gain control, but the right
wing party, the Conservatives took over a lot of ‘councils’, i.e. towns and
cities at local level.
Meanwhile there is another election in the offing, since Tony Blair the
Prime Minister resigned after a remarkable ten year period and a new leader
of the Labour party and therefore a new Prime Minister has to be chosen. It
is called an election but in fact Gordon Brown will from the end of June be
the new Prime Minister of Britain. He is likely to move the country to the
left with some progressive ‘socialist’ policies. But this Parliament only
has a little over two years before the next election. Let’s hope that
Thailand has its chance well before then.
Meanwhile the weather has taken a turn for the worse. After a glorious
April, with warm even hot days May is now cold, wet and windy. A complete
contradiction to what is ‘normal’. I gather that the rain has started early
in Chiang Mai, another of the hundreds of contrary weather patterns that are
occurring world wide. Babs will have to donate part of the proceeds of more
than concert if she really wants to help save the world from total burn out.