Thousands of Visitors Expected at Ratchaphruek Festival 2009
CHIANG MAI, Thailand, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ — More than 200,000 visitors are expected to attend a grand festival designed to celebrate and honour His Majesty the King, now the world’s longest reigning monarch, who will be celebrating his 82nd birthday on 5 December, 2009.
The opening ceremony will be held on 1 December, but the entire festival will run from 30 November – 10 December, 2009, at the Ratchaphruek 2006 Garden in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. His Majesty the King ascended the throne in June 1946 and was coronated in May 1950.
Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and Chiang Mai Provincial Administration, the festival is expected to attract thousands of Thais, expatriate residents of Thailand, and international visitors to the northern region of Thailand.
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said “TAT is very proud to host such a magnificent event for our beloved King. The event is designed to honour His Majesty the King and to publicise and promote tourism to Northern Thailand, especially the ‘Ratchaphruek 2006′ Garden. It fits in perfectly with our plans to diversify our range of destinations, spread visitors around the country, and raise the incomes of rural people.”
The festival will help boost domestic tourism, raise hotel occupancies in Chiang Mai, and give extensive exposure to North Thailand, projected to be a bridgehead for Thailand’s future economic development plans and linkages with the Greater Mekong Subregion.
The official opening ceremony will be on 1 December, 2009, with welcoming parades from all four regions of Thailand. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will deliver the opening address and then join the people in floating the 999 Kom Loi (Sky Lantern). This will be followed by Thai classical dances from the four regions (99 people from each region).
The number nine is considered lucky for the Thai people. A slight variation of its pronunciation also means “progress” or “advancement” in Thai.
The grandest part of the festival will be held on His Majesty’s birthday on 5 December, with the lighting of thousands of candles, offering of prayers and blessings for his continued good health, and singing of congratulatory songs, followed by a magnificent display of fireworks and a light and sound show.
Throughout the festival, visitors will be able to enjoy a wonderful horticultural exhibition of flowers, trees and fruits, and sales and competitions of agri-products, handicrafts and village-made souvenirs. Orchid lovers will find this festival a particular delight.
The Ratchaphruek Garden was originally built for the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2006, an international horticultural expo held in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai as part of the celebrations commemorating the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Ascension to the Throne. Roughly 2.5 million plants and flowers, including some rare species of orchids, were on display at the expo and received over two million visitors.
Chiang Mai is the economic, communications, cultural, and tourism centre of Northern Thailand. In recent years, it has undergone considerable economic development but still retains its historic heritage. It is also becoming increasingly well-known as a centre of traditional Thai massage, meditation, spas, health, and wellness.
Today, Chiang Mai is served by Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Silk Air, Lao Airlines, China Airlines, and Korean Air.
At the same time, the Asian Highway network now taking shape throughout Southeast Asia will, in the not too distant future, link Singapore with Kunming, via both Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The city is also winning international magazine awards for its charm and lifestyle. The Ratchaphruek Garden continues to be a major tourist spot.
In addition, a number of the “Royal Initiative Discovery” projects, which highlight the sufficiency economic concept of His Majesty the King, are located in North Thailand, and well worth checking out.
The list of performing programmes on 1-10 December, 2009, at the main stage Tuesday, 1 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Opening ceremony and cultural show from 4 regions Wednesday, 2 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Showing of drum and music playing from 4 regions Thursday, 3 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Folk shows from 4 regions Friday, 4 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Jazz music (H.M. the King's songs) Saturday, 5 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Lighting the candle to celebrate H.M. the King and 999 fireworks and Thai folk music Sunday, 6 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Thai folk music (from the north and northeast region) and the champion from the Ching Cha Sawan TV programme. Monday, 7 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Thai folk music (from the South and Central region) Tuesday, 8 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Orchestra, folk songs and light and sound music show (Lopburi Sri Nakorn Ping Chiang Mai) Wednesday, 9 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Khon "Phra Ram Khrong Mueang" Thursday, 10 December, 2009 1800-2200 hrs: Thai Puppet and International Puppet Show
Contact information: International Public Relation Division Tourism Authority of Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48 Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tatnews.org
SOURCE Tourism Authority of Thailand