FESTIVALS & EVENTS February - May 2009

Thailand Ladies Open 2009

Thailand Ladies Open 2009
Date : February 18 - 20, 2009
Venue : The Vintage Club, Samut Prakan

The 2009 Thailand Ladies Open is jointly organized by Thailand Ladies Golf Association and The Vintage Golf Club. It will be the 22nd occasion that TALGA has organized for the professional ladies with the challenge trophy from H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for the professional winner and the challenge cup from the Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand for the Amateur winner.

For More Information
Thailand Ladies Golf Association, Tel. +66 (0) 2255 7376 ext. 107, 108

Mekong River International Multi-Sport ITU Asian Cup 2009

Mekong River International Multi-Sport ITU Asian Cup 2009
Date : 27th - 29th March 2009
Venue : Along the Mekong river, Amphoe Mueang Nong Khai, Nong Khai

Hightlights :
Buddy Bike & Run
Aquathlon Asian Cup Series 2009
Duathlon Asian Cup Series 2009
Triathlon ITU Asian Cup 2009

Let’s see Thai-Lao Friendship Brideg, OTOP Fair, Food Fair, etc.

For More Information :
Triathlon Association of Thailand, Tel. 66 (0) 2578 4515, (0) 814 843 335
TAT Udon Thani, Tel. 66 (0) 4232 5406-7
Events Planning Division,TAT, Tel. 66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 3475-77
TAT Call Center 1672
website : www.thaitriathlon.org

Thai Elephant Week

Thai Elephant Week
Date :
13 March 2009
Venue : Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, Lampang

Thailand’s most noble beast, the elephant is the star of two important events this month. In the northern province of Lampang, people interested in the welfare and care of these noble animals gather for Thai Elephant Week, 13 March at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre.

The scene of documentary films made for worldwide TV audience, the conservation centre, located in Hang Chat district in Lampang province, is a renowned refuge where elephants, both healthy and invalid, can be cared for and respected.

In this day visitors can learn from mahouts about the traditions and practices that help to maintain an elephant’s health and well-being. On the lighter side, visitors can also join the mahouts, feeding the elephants in the style of the northern Khantok dinner. Considered an ancient royal tradition adopted by princes and high-ranking officials of the Lanna Kingdom, the Khantok dinner is at the pinnacle of traditional northern cuisine.

So what better way to recognise and respect our elephants than to give them a Khantok treat?

For more information
TAT Chiang Mai Office, Tel 66 (0) 5324 8604, 66 (0) 5324 8607
Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, Tel 66 (0) 5424 7979

World Comedy Film Festival 2009

Title: World Comedy Film Festival 2009

Concept: Laughter’s Beyond Frontiers

Time frame: April 23-29, 2009

Venues: Paragon Cineplex, Siam Paragon and SF World Cinema, Central World


1. Improving the image of the country after the political, economic, and social crisis of the past two years.
2. Regaining the confidence of foreign tourists and investors.
3. Bringing in income during the time of recession.
4. Creating an atmosphere of harmony and reducing
tension among the people.

Target Groups and Beneficiarie:

1. Foreign tourists.
2. Foreign investors and film industry operators: Fortifying the country‘s strength as an investment and production base.
3. Thai people: Increasing consumer spending and stimulating the economy.

Main Activities:

1. Opening Ceremony Welcoming guests from various foreign film industries, beginning with a fancy parade of local comedians dressed as the world’s well - known comedians and characters.

2. Closing Ceremony A gala night for comedians and festival participants, joining to pay tribute to one of the world’s renowned film comedians with an honorary award for his or her contribution to the art and world of comedy.

3. Film Screenings 55 films in total.

Scope and Contents:

1. The screenings of comedy films from all over the world. Tentative program includes twenty films from Asian countries; such as, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Syria, twenty films from Europe, America and Africa, ten Thai classic and contemporary films, and some internationally regarded shorts. The goal is to bring together highly successful comedy films, directors and actors with a special focus on Asian cinema.

2. There are seven comedy film festivals existing internationally. This is the first one to be held in Asia.

3. This is the first time the Comedian Association, the Federation of National Film Associations, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand co-operate together to showcase the local prowess of comedy acts in films and other kinds of media.

Expected Results:

1. Atmosphere of fun and pleasant feelings between the Thai people and foreigners touring the country.
2. Consumer spending with more jobs and income for those involved in the film industry and tourism generated from having 1,000 expected participants, film industry operators, and the press from various parts of the world, joining the festival.


1. The Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand
2. Tourism Authority of Thailand

1st Asian Martial Arts Games 2009

Date : 25 Apr 2009 - 3 May 2009

The 1st Asian Martial Arts Games 2009 will be hosted by Thailand from 25 April to 3 May 2009 in Bangkok as well as Suphan Buri province of Thailand. Featured games including compulsory Martial Arts, namely Karatedo, Kickboxing, Wushu, Muay, Kungfu and Kurash, as well as optional Martial Arts namely, Jujitsu & Beltwrestling, Pencat Silat and Kaliripattu.

This event will see the participation from 45 countries with expecting more than 2,500 competitors around the world.

Competition Schedule

For More Information, please call 1672

Aka Hill Tribes Mini Light and Sound Presentation

Aka Hill Tribes Mini Light and Sound Presentation
Date :
Saturday 10 January / 14 Febuary / 14 March /11 April 2009
Venue : Chiang Rai Social Development Centre 12 on the Doi Mae Salong road
in Pa Sang Sub-district of Mae Chan, Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai province hosts its annual light and sound show that presents insights into the culture and daily life of the Aka hill tribes, resident in hilltop villages in Mae Chan District.

First introduced in 1999, the show is now staged once a month during the tourist high season from January to April.

This month, the show will be presented, 10 January, 14 Febuary, 14 March and then finally on 11 April, at the Chiang Rai Social Development Centre 12 on the Doi Mae Salong road in Pa Sang Sub-district of Mae Chan.

Yasothon Bun Bangfai Rocket Festival

Yasothon Bun Bangfai Rocket Festival
Date : 8 - 10 May 2009
Venue : Phaya Thaen Park, Mueang District, Yasothon

The underlying logic and science behind the famous rocket festival, scheduled for 10 to 12 May, in the unassuming northeast town of Yasothon, is not to be found in a chemistry laboratory.
While the rocket owners pack as much as 25 kg of black powder into plastic or bamboo pipes to give their homemade missiles take off, the blueprints for this exceptionally noisy festival are traced in the mystical skies ruled by gods. Approaching rain clouds signal the start of the rice planting season, but according to northeastern folklore the first raindrops fall only when the gods are in the mood for love. They need encouragement hence the importance of the Bun Bang Fai, or rocket festival, to stir the mythical community, resident in the heavens, to bless earth with fertility and rain.
One mother of all rockets shoots high into the sky possibly for a kilometre or more stimulating the gods to action. Its vapour trail and height is seen as an omen. The higher it goes, the more rain will fall on the northeast plateau bringing good fortune and a bumper rice harvest.
None of these lofty goals prevent Yasothon’s residents and thousands of visitors from the more earthly pleasures of merry making associated with their homemade rockets.
All sizes and shapes are built around a simple plastic or bamboo pipe packed solid with black powder and fuses. They can be up to 10 metres, or more, in length, as long as they are capable of powering into the skies at blast off. Anything short of that spectacle prompts a chorus of laughter from the crowd and even a few missiles of mud aimed at the head of the hapless rocket owner.
While the rockets compete, the crowd is entertained with comedy, often bawdy with a smattering of dirty jokes and raucous country music. It’s a genuine farming community excuse to have fun and get the planting season off to a good start.
Accidents are few and far between, but as the beer and rice whisky flows, missiles may stutter, wobble or even do some low flying antics over the tents and entertainment stages.
Rocket festivals are held throughout the region and in neighbouring Laos, but Yasothon residents, noted for their sense of humour, inspire an event that draws international visitors attracted by a hilarious three-day party. It embodies I-san’s ability to rise above the hardships of tilling the land.
Ironically, at any other time of the year, Yasothon is a sleepy northeast town that hardly warrants a second glance. Rarely visited by tourists, it is overshadowed by its neighbour Ubon Ratchathani, 98 km to the southeast. Considered the prime tourism gateway to the lower I-san region, Ubon Ratchathani’s airport is served by both the national airline, Thai Airways International, and low-cost airlines. It is possible to hire a car at the airport and drive northwest on Highway 23 to Yasothon.
The town’s hotels are full during this short festival and hotels will double their rates to cash in on the festival’s popularity. There are also hotels in Roi-et, 60 km northwest of Yasothon, while some visitors may decide to stay in Ubon and embark on a daytrip returning after sunset.

Contact :
TAT Ubon Ratchathani Office
Tel : 66 (0) 4524 3770-1, 66 (0) 4525 0714
Yasothon Municipality Office
Tel : 66 (0) 4571 1397 Ext. : 112

Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day

Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day
Date :
11 May 2009
Venue : Sanam Luang, Bangkok

Signs of the times.

A Brahmin ceremony seeks a sign to guide the nation to a healthy harvest.

Economists have their own ideas on how 2009 will pan out. They take stock of the rice crop, the inbound flow of tourism and fluctuations on the foreign exchange market to provide a peep at where we might be heading.

There is a much more colourful way to reach the same conclusions and it is at the heart of a century old custom, the annual Ploughing Ceremony.

Held at on the spacious grounds of Sanam Luang against the backdrop of imposing government buildings and the Grand Palace, this ancient Brahmin ceremony takes place 9 May at an auspicious time set even to the seconds hand of the clock by custodians of this custom.

Having their origins in India, the rites of the Ploughing Ceremony can be witnessed in Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

Once the Brahmin priests have set the auspicious time after consulting the stars and interpreting omens, the stage is set for Bangkok to turn the pages back from modern commercial endeavour to a ceremony that touches the soil and essence of life itself.
To the sound of tambourines and flutes the royal ceremony draws various players to a pegged area of “Sanam Luang” where omens will be interpreted to chart the course of the nation’s economy and wellbeing.

One of the players is a high ranking official of the Ministry of Agriculture dressed in ancient regalia -- a white tunic sparkling with precious stones and wearing on his head a long pointed crown.
Two oxen covered in scarlet and gold cloaks wait to be attached to a plough.
Brahmin guards dressed in green officiate over the first of three important ceremonies.

At the Royal pavilion, three golden Pa Nungs (sarongs) of different length are presented to the Minister. He dons one of them and his choice is considered an omen that gives the Brahmin priest a hint of the year’s prevailing weather and its impact on the harvest.
If the minister chooses the shortest of the Pa Nungs it suggests abundant rain, while the longest hints of drought and hard times. The medium length Pa Nung is considered the most appropriate for the economy. It suggests harmony in nature, perfect conditions for a bumper harvest.

Emerging from the pavilion the Minister is led to the two oxen tethered to the plough. In front of a vast crowd he carefully ploughs three circular furrows to the sound of conch shells and trumpets.
Four maidens carrying baskets with blessed rice, follow the Minister as he begins the ploughing of three more furrows. They sprinkle the rice seeds in the furrows, while Brahmin priest sprinkle lustral water.

As the Minister completes the third furrow the crowds burst through the flimsy barrier to snatch the seeds from the earth. Farmers believe that mixing them with seeds bought from the market will guarantee a handsome harvest.
Finally, the oxen are led to the pavilion where they are offered seven bowls full of rice, corn, millet, beans, grass, rice wine, and water. Their choice is considered a vital omen that will assist the Brahmin priests to divine the year’s outcome for the nation.
If the oxen choose rice, it signals a plentiful harvest. If they ignore the rice it hints of scarcity. If they lower their heads towards the bowls of water, this suggests abundant rain.

Wisely, there is no evidence that the oxen have ever sipped the rice whisky, but on many occasions, the oxen lose their appetites and have to be encouraged to lower their muzzles to the bowls.

Once the oxen have made their choice, the Brahmin priest evaluate all the omens, which are then read to the representative of HM the King by a civil servant of the Ministry of Agriculture. As the crowds disappear some will remain to search the earth for a little longer in the hope of finding a blessed rice seed and possibly a promise of a better year to come.

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