Thursday, February 15, 2018

Kung Hei Fat Choi - Happy New Year

 In Thailand, we will be celebrating another New Year soon and this one is the Chinese New Year and it is the Year of the Dog.

This will fall on February 16th and the celebrations start up to a week before this. During this period, there will be dragon dances, lion dances, red envelopes being given, fireworks, families celebrating together and so much more.

Traditionally the Chinese will clean their homes very thoroughly and this will sweep away any ill fortune which has been with the family recently.

Then they may decorate their homes with red paper motifs and give money to people in red envelopes.

Where there is a large concentration of a Chinese community this celebration will spill onto the streets.  In Bangkok, this is specifically on Yaowarat Road -

Currently, the sides of the road are festooned with decorations – the red lanterns are ubiquitous and the colour red is everywhere.

The pavements which are usually only a little crammed are now a veritable obstacle course.

Outside their homes and business, paper money and paper objects will be burnt in a small fire.

Food offerings are also made outside homes and businesses – and they can be quite impressive.

 There are a great many places to buy traditional Chinese Dress and any number of different decorations.

In the evening the Chinese Dragons will parade along the street and visit the local Chinese shrines which are scattered throughout this area.

If you do visit China Town and visit a shrine please be respectful when you enter.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Winter Festival

The Winter Festival is at the Royal Plaza from 8th February until 11th March.

It will be in the Royal Plaza in front of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall – ‘The place of Immense Gathering” -

The colour which greets you as you enter is just a taste of the rest. At the entrance there is a Royal Barge Suphannahong which is raised on a platform and surrounded with flowers.

Then there is the statue of King Rama V on horseback, with flowers tastefully arranged around it - and we note that yellow of the marigolds represents the birth colour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Then there is a circle of flowers around a small fountain – a popular place for photographs.

Then there is a row of smaller fountains leading to the Palace – all really quite special.

It features exhibitions of Thai products on sale and cultural shows amongst other things throughout the day. It is being staged to promote happiness among the Thai people and provide them with an opportunity to appreciate Thai culture and traditions – with the visitors being asked to dress in cultural dress if they wished – and they did!

There are exhibitions in honour of King Rama V (he is on horseback) and King Bhumibol Adulyadej and money will be donated from this to charitable projects helping troubled citizens in Thailand.

The cultural performances will take place from 6:30pm - 8:30pm each Friday to Tuesday and an outdoor cinema will screen rare classic films every Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30pm - 8:30pm.

Admission is free but please take identity, dress with respect and you are encouraged to wear traditional attire, especially that worn during the reign of Rama V.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sriracha - Local Sauce

Cape+Kantary is a magazine that you will find in all the Cape and Kantary Properties. In every edition there is always an article that we like to share.

In this edition -  - (Pages 36-39) there is an investigation into the popularity of the red chilli sauce that you are commonly served with Asian food. The most common example that you may see on the tables in Aisia is the squeezy see-through bottle with the green twist cap.

This sauce (manufactured by many) began to find it’s way on the International dinner table,  but it was always imported from Asia.

So where did the sauce come from originally?

The writers tell us that there is a company in Sriracha in Thailand which claim to be the originators. Thanom Chakkapak is said to have created this sauce to accompany the freshly served seafood which was caught locally under 100 years ago. Her friends and family loved the sauce so much that they encouraged her to make the sauce and sell it herself!

This did not last long and the Thai Theparos Food Products acquired the recipie and their bottles still bear the original ‘Sriraja Panich name.

If you are interested in reading the full article to find out subtle differences between them please click on the link above. Original article by Dwight Turner.