Category Archives: Thailand Stamps

Loy krathong – thoughts on the day of the lantern parade

I moved to Chiang Mai the day before loy krathong four years ago – I always think of this holiday as my anniversary.

Chiang Mai is famous for going way over the top with parades and holidays, loy krathong probably being second only to the week-long songkran festivities. Temples, businesses and public buildings are decorated with saa paper lanterns, banana stems and leaves and lots of candles once the night comes. Firecrackers and fireworks have been going on for over a week in my neighbourhood. Little workshops prepare thousands of paper lanterns, waiting to be flown into the skies. Nights are already a little chilly, especially in the suburbs. The rains have stopped. There is change in the air – the atmosphere building up to explosion.

As for explosions…. just as songkran gets crazy with water-throwing totally out of control for more than a week, loy krathong is also known for the industrial amount of explosives being fired over the river, hurled into crowds, and sometimes exploding in people’s hands. Forget the serene and peaceful scenes suggested by postcards: it is loud, crowded and in the late hours of the night, when the lads are fuelled by too many beers, dangerous. When I “risked my life” taking a two-minute video from Nawarat bridge last year, my brother left a comment on it: “whoa! if I didn’t know any better, I would think this is footage from Baghdad!”

Nevertheless, I love loy krathong. I have learnt where to go and when to find what I need out of it: the colourful parades, music, dancing and activities at the temples, a little quiet section of the river, a viewpoint for seeing hundreds and hundreds of lanterns at night, painting and releasing a fire lantern with my children at school. I admit I launched my last krathong in 2003, but friends are trying to persuade me to float one this year, who knows, it may get rid of all the junk in my life. I am skeptical. I like to be an outsider.

The actual full moon day is on Monday, but Chiang Mai’s celebrations are already underway with the lantern parade tonight. Small krathongs follow tomorrow, and the festival concludes with the biggest, most extravagant big krathongs parade on the third day (Tuesday). The lantern parade usually starts from Thapae gate and proceeds down Thapae road, turning right into Changklan road. It is still not too late to set off :-)

These are all photos of loy krathong preparations and lantern parades (day 1) taken in previous years. UPDATE: There is a thread at the Chiang Mai forum with some pictures taken this year.

Thai Stamps – 759

760. National Children’s Day

Design: “Kaew Jom Kaen” is a children’s novel written by Her Royal Highness Princess Srindhron. She uses “Waen Kaew” as her pseudonym. The purpose of the book is to introduce and educate Thai traditional character to the younger generation of today. It also promted the bonds between family members.

Thai Heritage Day

The 2nd of March is National Thai Heritage Conservation Day. It was set up to enhance public awareness of the value and importance of the national arts. The stamps shown here were released today.They illustrate dvarapala, the guardian of the temple.

(Left): The guardians painted on the door panels at the rear of the Putthaisawan Throne Hall, National Museum, Bangkok. (Right): The guardians painted on the window panels at Wat Suthat Thepphawararam, Bangkok.

(Left): The guardians carved on the wooden door panels at Wat Phra Sisanphet, Ayutthaya. (Right): The guardians carved on the wooden door panels at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok.

Khun Tongdaeng Stamps

Khun Tongdaeng

Date of Issue: 1st September 2006
Designs: Illustrates the activities of Khun Tongdaeng and her family, the famed pets of H.M. the King.

Tongdang (family name: Suvarnnachad), a female municipal dog, is the 17th dog owned by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Tongdang was born on a sub-road, by a Medical Center, on Rama IX Road, on Saturday, November 7, 1998, as one of a litter of 7 puppies – Tongdaeng, Lamun, Kalua, Nun Koro, Koso (female) and Tonglueng (male).

“Daeng”, Tongdaeng’s mother, was a stray on Rama IX Road. A medical doctor presented Tongdaeng to His Majesty the King when the King presided over the Opening Ceremony of Rama IX Medical Center. At that time, Daeng was ill and unable to care for her pups adequately. His Majesty took tongdaeng to the Palace where she was adopted by “Mali”, the King’s dog, who, herself, had just had 9 puppies the day before Tongdaeng was taken to the Palace.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2000, Veterinary Surgeon Noppakit Chantik performed the delivery of a litter of 9 puppies at the Veterinary Faculty Clinic, Kasetsart University, to Tongdaeng by Tongtae, a Basenji dog, also raised by His Majesty. The 9 puppies were Tongchompunut, Tongyod and Tong-att (female), and Tong-ake, Tongmuan, Tongtat, Tongphu, Tongyip, and Tongnoppakun (male).

Temple Gables on Stamps

(left) Gable of the Scripture Library at Wat Phra Sing Woramahawihan
(right) Gable of the Uposatha Hall at Wat Khao Bandai It

Date of Issue: 4th August 2005
Designs: Illustrates ancient Thai styled gables

These stamps that were released today are the first in Thailand that are shaped like a triangle. Not long ago we had round stamps with pandas on them. I buy these stamps for the students to buy at the Stamp Club meetings. Sometimes we have stamps left over. If you are buying books from us at thaihypermarket.com and would like us to stick any of these stamps on the envelopes, then please let us know when you place your order.

(left) Gable of Phra Prang at Wat Phra Phai Luang
(right) Gable of Prasat Phanom Rung

Gables are a beautiful and distinctive architectural feature, even when viewed from afar. They are the triangular parts on either end of the roofs of important buildings, such as the Phra Ubosot Hall, the study rooms for monks, and royal palaces. A gable can be carved in wood, covered with gold leaf, made from cement, or decorated with glass and glazed pottery according to the structure and design of the roof and building.

Gable at Prasat Phanom Rung, Buriram

The styles of gables differ between each era. The stamps feature four different style: (1) pictures of cashew orchards, (2) pictures of a Garuda tugging at the wavy tail of Piyana, (3) pictures of the Buddha seated under the Bodhi tree surrounded by his disciples with their palms together, and (4) pictures of Phra Narai Banthom Sindhu (see picture above).