(left) Pra Rama and Princess Srida (right) Thotsakan
Date of Issue: 3rd August 2005
Designs: Illustrates Thai version of the drama Ramayana
(left) Hanuman (right) Pra Rama’s battle with Thotsakan
The mask play or khon drama is one of the oldest forms of Thai dramatics. Many of the khon dramas originated in the Ayutthaya Era. The play and costume designs are influenced by the traditional play “Chuck Nark”. The fighting style is inspired by Thai sword play and traditional musical plays. Most of the actors wear masks unless their roles are angels, humans, queens, princesses, or giants. The two most-played khon dramas are the Ramakien and Unarrud. The above stamps illustrate characters from the Ramakien.
I have seen extracts from the Ramakien and other masked drama plays at various locations. For example, at my school and at funerals (see picture above). The people attending this cremation actually encoraged me to take pictures and enjoy a front row seat. Plays and other performances are not unusual at funerals. More about this another day.
Date of Issue: 1st July 2005
Purpose: To publicize and to promote cooperation and cordial relationship between Thailand and the People’s Republic of China on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between the two countries
Design: Illustrates Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, the giant pandas from People’s Republic of China. The picture of teak and bamboo trees are shown in the background. Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui are ambassadors of friendship from the People’s Republic of China, now residing at Chiang Mai zoo, which is helping to enhance an interest in wildlife conservation and natural resources among Thai people.
Phra Yot Khunphon
Date of Issue: 19th June 2005
Designs: Illustrates the set of five amuletic Buddha images, Phra Yot Khunphon
9 baht: Phra Ruang Lang Rang Puen, Wat Phra Si Rattanamahathat, Sukhothai
9 baht: Phra Hu Yan, Wat Phra Si Rattanamahathat, Lop Buri
9 baht: Phra Chinnarat Bai Sema, wat Phra Si Rattanamahathat, Phitsanulok
9 baht: Phra Mahesuan, Wat Phra Si Rattanamahathat, Suphan Buri
9 baht: Phra Tha Kradan, Si Sawat, Kanchanaburi
Stamp collecting in Thailand is very popular. At school we have a very active stamp club which I started when I first came to Thailand. There are about 200 members. I buy the stamps for the students at the local post office and then sell them for the same price during stamp club meetings. Many of these stamps sell out within a few hours of the post office opening. If we didn’t have the stamp club the students would then have to buy the stamps at higher prices in local stamp shops. Stamps about the royal family and Buddha sell out quickly. This stamp sheet of amulets is a good example. There was a long line forming even before the post office opened.
Insect Postage Stamps
Date of Issue: 31st May 2005
Designs: Illustrates insects found in Thailand
5 baht: Fabricius
5 baht: Saunders
5 baht: Drury
5 baht: Akiyama
Centenary of Modern Thai Writers
Date of Issue: 5th May 2005
Designs: Illustrates novelists and their famous novels
3 baht: M.L. Bupha Nimmanhemin (Dokmaisod)
3 baht: Mr. Kularb Saipradit (Sri Burapha)
3 baht: Mr. Kan Pungbun Na Ayudhaya (Mai Muengdeum)
3 baht: Royal Highness Arktdumkeung Rabibhadana