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HM the King’s 86th birthday celebrations

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo pays his respects to the portrait of HM the King at CMU Convention Center before making an offering of a flower garland.

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai, along with the rest of the nation, took Thursday December 5 off to celebrate the birthday of HM the King. Official ceremonies honoring His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej were held at the CMU Convention Center in the morning where Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo paid his respects to the portrait of HM the King and made merit for His Majesty by presenting robes to the abbots of the major temples in Chiang Mai.

The Governor is joined by leading officials and officers and the most senior diplomat, Chinese Consul General Zhang Weicai, in offering robes to the abbots of the leading Chiang Mai Temples in a merit making ceremony for HM the King.

Not only government officials attended the ceremony but students and citizens from around Chiang Mai. Governor Wichien also presented awards to Best Father from each District in Chiang Mai in honor of Father’s Day.
Candlelight ceremonies were held around the city in the evening including one held at the Flora Festival 2013 at Royal Ratchaphruek Park. The candlelight ceremonies see the ceremonial candle in front of HM the King’s portrait lit and then the flame passed person to person in the audience. They then sing the Royal Anthem to honor the King and offer their blessings to him.

The diplomatic corps turned out to pay their respects to the King of Thailand, from left, Chinese Consul General Zhang Weicai, Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii, U.S. Consul General Michael Heath, and Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal.

At Royal Ratchaphruek Park the ceremony was presided over by Suwit Chaikiattiyos, Deputy Director General of the Department of Agriculture who led government officers and people to light candles to bless to HM the King. The ceremony also had a music celebration for His Majesty the King and the show “Blessing to the King” and “Agriculture under royal graciousness” and 86 fireworks in honor of HM the King.
Fireworks shows also took place in the city with the Municipality offering a magnificent show after ceremonies at Tha Pae Gate.

People around Chiang Mai joined in candlelight ceremonies to honor HM the King on his 86th birthday, here Royal Park Ratchaphruek filled with people celebrating his birthday.

Foreign residents honor HM the King on International We Love the King Day

An elephant from Mae Taeng Elephant Camp led the parade, carrying a portrait of HM the King. (Photo by Martin Vanderk)

By Shana Kongmun
Three years ago then head of the Work Permit Ruchuechai Potha heeded the queries of the many foreign residents who visited his office on how they could join in the festivities honor HM the King by organizing the first International We Love the King Parade with over 1,500 participants that started at Tha Pae Gate and ended in a big music, dance and food festival near JJ Market. Last year the event was held at Royal Flora Ratchaphruek Park with a concert and candle light ceremony in front of the portrait of HM the King.

People of all nationalities and ethnic groups joined to show their love and respect for Thailand’s beloved King.
(Photo by Chiang Mai Mail reporters)

This year the event saw organizations, businesses, schools, groups, and individuals parade from JJ Market to Tha Pae Gate on December 3, 2013. The generosity of the Chiang Mai Municipality provided the parade route and the use of the stage for the event which saw between 1,500 and 2,000 people participate. The parade was led by two elephants, one carrying the portrait of HM the King from Mae Taeng Elephant Camp and the Yupparaj Witthalayu School Marching Band leading the way. Groups as diverse as the Swiss Lanna Society, the Chiang Mai Friends, the Thai – Nepal Association of Chiang Mai, the Chinese Students groups as well as ethnic groups from around Chiang Mai including Lahu students and teachers who joined in the parade to show their love and respect for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

A truly international evening, the event was led by citizens of Australian, the United States, Thailand and South Korea.
 (Photo by Martin Vanderk)

Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat was joined by the Commander of Wing 41, the Head of the Labor Office, Swiss Honorary Consul and representatives of various nations in honoring HM the King on his birthday with offerings of “Phan phum” and then led the candlelight ceremony where participants sang first the National Anthem followed by the Royal Anthem.

One of the elephants offers flowers in honor of HM the King. (Photo by Martin Vanderk)

Different groups performed dances and the evening closed out with a rocking performance by the Chiang Mai band “Two Nights With Steve” that drew crowds of tourists and locals. The International We Love the King Day is a day for everyone in Chiang Mai to come together to pay homage and show love and respect for Thailand’s great king, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat passes on the flame from the ceremonial candle to lead the candlelight ceremony. (Photo by Martin Vanderk)

Creativity and eclectic crafts at the NAP Fair

Nimman Art Promenade celebrates 13 years of art

NAP Fair sponsors included COTTO and Kantary Hills Hotel among others, the sponsors of the NAP Fair were thanked on stage at the opening of the Fair.

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai is becoming widely known for its innovative design in handicrafts, fashion and jewelry and the Nimman Art Promenade on Nimmanhaemin Soi 1 is a showcase for eclectic design and creativity.
The NAP Fair celebrated its 13th year of bringing unique and creative crafts to the public with over 80 booths lining the soi. The creativity ranged from fashion to clothes, toys to food, sculpture, art and much more. Many of the artists with booths here have small shops and others sell online and at the Fair. The NAP Fair is organized by local businesses and artists to promote Chiang Mai and its popularity grows every year.

Took from the Brasserie thrilled the crowd with his amazing guitar skills on the third night of the Fair.

The Fair features live music from popular artists like the North Gate Jazz Band, Took and his band from the Brasserie and others. Local kids get into the act and get up on stage with fashion shows and dance performances. Fair goers get into the creativity too by joining in painting elephants from Elephant Parade House or creating lanterns for candles and other crafts at a table set up in front of the stage.
The NAP Fair is one of the most popular events on the high season calendar giving residents and tourists a chance to shop for unusual one of a kind gifts, enjoy delicious baked goods and great live music. The organizers of the NAP Fair thanked everyone for their support including sponsors who each received gifts at the opening of the Fair on December 5, 2013. The NAP Fair runs every year on December 5 for 5 full days on Nimmanhaemin Soi 1. If you missed this year, mark it in your calendars for next year!

Fair visitors painted elephants from the Elephant Parade House in the afternoon before the music started.

Vendors had everyone on offer, from pottery to stuffed critters from the children’s favorite book, “Where the Wild Things Are”.

Chiang Mai flies high with the International Balloon Festival

President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn is joined by representatives and General Managers from the hotels, sponsors, organizers and TAT head Wisut Buachoom to launch the small hot air balloon to start the event.

By Shana Kongmun
The International Balloon Festival, which was held at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club on December 7 and 8, 2013 is another popular event that brings the high tourist season into full swing. The Festival features early morning balloon rides and a fabulous light and sound show in the evening as the balloon pilots light the flames under their balloons and the sky glows with the different colors of the big hot air balloons. Then the night sky fills with a fireworks show high over the skies and then festival goers have the chance to take tetherered rides in the big hot air ballons.
Live music from such popular international stars as Hugo and Garth Taylor highlight the evening but also popular national stars such as Palmy and Nung Jakkawan. The Festival is a truly family friendly event with bouncy castles to keep the kids occupied and a wide array of food and drinks on offer from such places as Le Meridien, Holiday Inn, Shangri La and the famed dusit D2 Hotel bartenders. Rimping supermarket had a full service wine and drinks section along with readymade foods and local Thai dishes such as noodles and rice were also available.
Professional balloon pilots travel from around the world to attend this event, this year 8 different countries were represented including Germany, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Croatia, England, Malaysia and Thailand. The Festival is organized by the Earth, Wind, and Fire Company together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Chiang Mai Municipality and the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration. Chi Chang offered an interactive booth for fair goers and Promenada sponsored children’s games in one of the top festivals of the year.

The night sky filled with the sounds of wonderful music and the lights of glowing hot air balloons for the Glow Night Sky light and sound show.

Thai singing star Hugo performed several of his biggest hits including his 2011 hits 99 Problems and Bread and Butter.

Kids big and small love the small hot air balloons too.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

HM the King’s 86th birthday celebrations

Foreign residents honor HM the King on International We Love the King Day

Creativity and eclectic crafts at the NAP Fair

Chiang Mai flies high with the International Balloon Festival