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Residents celebrate Inthakin festival

Life in Chiang Mai

Residents celebrate Inthakin festival

Linda Ratchai
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 20th.

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 present.
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 Thailand?
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.