Monday, September 14, 2009

Turtles in Phuket Town

There is an ancient Chinese Ceremony in Phuket called Por Tor.

The Chinese - Thais believe that during this period the spirits of their ancestors will stay on the earth for one month and they give gifts and offerings during the spirits' stay.

A prominent feature of this celebration is the number of red turtle shaped cakes –
Ang Koo.

In Thai and Chinese culture the turtle represents longevity and in the Chinese culture red represents prosperity. We purchased a turtle and we visited the Bang Nae Shrine in Phuket Town passing through the market.

Guest of the Cape Panwa offered our turtle (see picture), lit our joss sticks and candles and entered the shrine. We were then led to a very small corridor behind the shrine decorated with tiny ornate Chinese figures – similar to those at the
Chinese Temple in Phuket.

The guests and I were then led to a small ceremonial stove where we lit tissue paper from a perpetual flame and threw it into the oven – this was to create a flame to tell the spirits that we have honoured them.

Then we saw some folk Thai dancing called
Likay – this was a truly amazing and wonderful experience for us all.

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