Celebrating the New Year

Phutthaisawan Throne Hall. (Photo by Pichaya Svasti)

For New Year blessings, Buddhists are invited to pay respects to 10 of the major Buddha statues in Phutthaisawan Throne Hall at the Front Palace (Wang Na) on the grounds of the National Museum Bangkok near Sanam Luang, from 9am-4pm daily from today until Jan 27.

The statues on display are Phra Phuttha Sihing, the Front Palace's most important Buddha statue, and nine Buddha images made of gemstones in "Subduing Mara" postures, representing the strength to withstand all kinds of danger. Phra Phuttha Rattanachat Mongkol Boran was bestowed by King Rama VII to the museum while another statue, Phra Phuttha Rattanachat, was found during an archaeological excavation at Wat Bowonsathan Sutthawat on the Front Palace compound in 1964. The rest have been enshrined in the Front Palace since its establishment in 1782.

Phra Phuttha Sihing is made of gilded bronze in the Sukhothai and Lanna art styles. According to legend, the statue was commissioned by a king of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 147 AD to resemble the Lord Buddha. It was brought to Thailand in the 13th century during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai Kingdom. After the downturn of Sukhothai, the statue was moved to several cities. It was taken to Chiang Mai after the fall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1767 and brought to Bangkok by Krom Phra Ratchawangbovorn Mahasurasinghanart, the viceroy in the First Reign, in 1795. During Songkran, Phra Phuttha Sihing was taken on a procession to Sanam Luang for the people to sprinkle scented water over and ask for blessings.

Contact the National Museum Bangkok at 02-224-1333.

Lantern festival

In Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the "Hua Hin Lantern Festival 2018" takes place at Cicada Market, Hua Hin, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan 4-6.

Visitors will be mesmerised by the many lanterns made of recycled materials under the theme of "FantaSea Recycle".

Call Cicada Market at 099-669-7161.

Meanwhile, the "Hua Hin Beer Garden & Street Food Festival" is being held at Tamarind Market every night until Feb 28.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of street food and beer, live music and local performances.

Contact Tamarind Market at 088-611-6444.

Email pichayas@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any news to share.