Bangkok, Thailand: Final preparations are being made for dozens of colourful festivals and performances to be held throughout 2002 to commemorate…
Bangkok, Thailand: Final preparations are being made for dozens of colourful festivals and performances to be held throughout 2002 to commemorate the 220th anniversary of Bangkok as the capital city of
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Tourism Authority of Thailand (
Rattanakosin Island has been chosen as the venue for most events because of its unique position as the source of the city`s history and home to many artistic and cultural creations dating back to BE 2325 (1782 AD).
Today, the area is home to the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the National Museum, National Theatre and a number of important buildings and government offices which are architectural masterpieces.
Popularly known as `Krungthep Mahanakorn` by Thais, Bangkok has come a long way since the village it originally was. Covering an area of 1,562 square kilometres, Bangkok is the seat of the Thai government and a centre of administration, commerce and communications.
It is also one of the world`s most famous tourist destinations.
The 220th anniversary celebrations will officially begin on February 14, 2002, with a gala presentation entitled `Chao Phraya — River of the Kingdom` at the Rajavoradit Pier adjacent to the Grand Palace.
A tribute to the role of the Chao Phraya River in nourishing the growth of the city, the performance will feature music by a symphony orchestra and Thai classical bands, a light and sound presentation, and fireworks. It will be repeated every day between February 15-28, 2002.
In June 2002, the `International Ramayana Dance` will be held at the National Theatre, featuring performances of the well-known Indian epic `Ramayana` by dancers from India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.
Many festivals and events will be specially enhanced and promoted for the benefit of international visitors who will come to Thailand during that period. These will include:
- Bangkok Countdown for 2002 (Sanam Luang – Ratchadamri Road – Ratchaprasong) during December 31, 2001 – January 1, 2002;
- Chinese New Year Festival (China Town or Yaowarat) in February 2002;
- Chakri Day (The Statue of King Rama I) in April 2002;
- Songkran Festival (Khao San Road – Banglamphu – Sanam Luang – Wat Mahathat – Wat Pho) in April 2002;
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Sanam Luang) in May 2002;
- Thailand Grand Sale (throughout Bangkok) in June-July 2002;
- Celebration of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit`s Birthday (Ratchadamnern Road) in August 2002;
- Loi Krathong Festival (Banglamphu – Phra Sumen Fort – Klong Lot) on November 19, 2002;
- Thailand Tourism Festival (Bangkok) in November 2002;
- Trooping of the Colours (The Royal Plaza) in December 2002;
- Celebration of His Majesty King Bhumibol`s Birthday (Ratchadamnern Road – Sanam Luang – Chetsadabordin Royal Pavilion – China Town or Yaowarat) in December 2002; and
- King Taksin the Great Commemoration Day (The Equestrian Statue of King Taksin and Latya Road) in December 2002.
Ten royal temples around Rattanakosin Island will also take turns organising temple fairs throughout 2002. These include:
- Temple of Dawn (Wat Arunratchawararam) enshrining the symbolic `prang` (pagoda);
- Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) recognised as the country`s first university and well-known for courses on traditional Thai massage and herbal treatment;
- Wat Saket, home of the Golden Mount offering a magnificent panoramic view of the heart of Bangkok;
- Wat Ratchanatdaram with the 37- spired Loha Prasat (literally means `metal hall`) containing relics of the Buddha;
- Wat Bowoniwetwiharn where the Supreme Patriarch resides as well as many important Buddha images are housed;
- Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit where the precursor of early Rattanakosin-style `chedis` (stupas) are located;
- Wat Suthat Thepwararam famous for its longest `ubosot` (ordination hall) in Thailand enshrining the Sukhothai- style bronze Buddha image, Phra Sri Sakyamuni;
- Wat Rakhangkhositaram where a number of most outstanding examples of Thai architecture are located including the `prang` (pagoda) and hor trai (scripture hall);
- Wat Intharawihan famous for its giant brick and stucco Buddha image known as `Luangpo To` with the alms bowl in the Sukhothai style, the tallest of its kind in the world; and
- Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit) whose ordination hall was built from Italian marble.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.