SAMUT SAKHON CHAO PHOR LAK MUEANG CITY PILLAR SHRINE PROCESSION
June 18 22, 2010

Along the streets of Samut Sakhon town and Tha Chalom Pier along the banks of the Tha Chin River



The town of Samut Sakhon (also known as Mahachai) is located at the mouth of the Tha Chin River, a distributary of the Chao Phraya river, as if flows to the Gulf of Thailand. It is home to one of the biggest seafood piers in the Gulf of Thailand.

The name Mahachai is still used today even though the town has been called Samut Sakhon since the reign of King Rama IV. The oldest name of the area is Tha Chin (Chinese pier), probably referring to the fact that it was a trading port where Chinese junks arrived. The town of Sakhon Buri was established in 1548 and was renamed Mahachai in 1704 after the Klong Mahachai canal was dug and connected with the Tha Chin River near the town.



Most of the local residents earn a living as fishermen and the town is famous for its fresh seafood and seafood market. One of the key attractions for visitors is to watch fishermen offload their catches: big and small shrimps, myriad fish, cuttlefish, shellfish and other fruits of the sea. Deckhands slide baskets of seafood down from the boat into the hands of traders who immediately auction off the catches and distribute them either to one of the many frozen seafood plants in the area or to vendors at the fresh market just behind the pier. From the pier, wander down through tiny alleys to the market. It is a bustling maze where a dazzling array of fresh seafood are on display.

The Samut Sakhon Chao Phor Lak Mueang or Samut Sakhon City Pillar Shrine Procession is an annual traditional event staged by the residents of Samut Sakhon in honour of Chao Phor Lak Mueang, the towns guardian spirit. It is believed that the act of paying respect to the benevolent Chao Phor Lak Mueang, the guardian spirit of the city pillar shrine, brings good luck, happiness, progress and prosperity to the local residents, especially the fishermen folk who have tremendous faith in the protective powers of the guardian spirit and visit the shrine regularly to pay their respects and pray for safe passage and protection before they leave port on their fishing trips.

Given that the livelihood of the local community reflects faith and traditional beliefs in Chao Phor Lak Mueang, the community stages a grand procession on 19 June. This consists of a procession that makes its way along the streets of of Samut Sakhon town and Tha Chalom Pier along the banks of the Tha Chin River, as well as water-borne procession presenting an opportunity for the local residents to pay their respects and seek blessings and good luck.

The coastal community will also be hosting a celebration to mark the anniversary of the birthday of the towns guardian spirit on 22 June. On the day, Samut Sakhon residents will gather to take part in a fascinating ritual preparation of some 2,000 kilogrammes of fried noodles, a symbolic gesture that reflects community spirit. The auspicious noodles will be shared and served to all visitors and guests attending the event. Other highlights of the day include the performance of the traditional Chinese-Lion Dance, folk music and stage drama.

Contact information:
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Samut Songkhram
Tel: +66 (0) 3475 2847-8
Fax: +66 (0) 3475 2846
E-mail: tatsmsk[at]tat.or.th


IMPORTANT
Event dates and programme details may be subject to change.
Many of the festivals and events listed on Thailand's official calendar of annual events are traditional Buddhist or folk festivals, the date of which is either determined by the Buddhist lunar calendar and waxing and waning moon. These are not staged events. The festivals reflect the rhythm of life in rural Thai villages and local traditions as observed in times past. To ensure you have the most updated information, please reconfirm details prior to travel.

Contact:
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Email: info[at]tat.or.th
Website: ÷ͧ觻
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 (120 automatic lines)
Fax: +66 (0) 2250 5511 (two automatic lines)

FOR EVENT INFORMATION,
please call 1672.

Address:
1600 Petchaburi Road, Makkasan, Rajatevee
Bangkok 10400
Thailand