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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Goddess Pageant and Dragon Dance Mark 2019 ‘Moon Festival’


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BANGKOK — It’s the Mid-Autumn Festival – or as Thai people called it, Moon-Worshiping Festival – and there are more ways to celebrate it than just buying those high-calorie mooncakes.

Although a majority of Thais with Chinese descent in Bangkok will opt for modern celebration of sharing mooncakes with their peers, which symbolizes completeness and reunion, traditional approaches can still be seen in some parts.

For example, Thai-Chinese prayers and lion dance are scheduled to take place at Chao Pho Phra Phloeng Shrine in Bangkok’s Talat Phlu today, while a whole strip of a major road in Songkhla province has been closed until Saturday for “Hatyai Moon Festival” event.

Festivities there feature a giant lantern, dragon dance, and more than 100 food stalls.

Another highlight is an annual pageant in Nakhon Sawan province, where 22 Thai-Chinese contestants adorned in red qipao compete to represent the goddess Guanyin per local beliefs.

While other pageants look for physical beauty and charisma, contestants in Nakhon Sawan need their luck. Winner is determined by the throwing of a pair of wooden crescents, which they have to land one facing up and the other facing down twice, with both facing down on the final round.

Top: Last year’s winner

The one and only top winner gets to be worshiped as the goddess’ reincarnate by the entire city for a day. The contest is still undecided of publication time.

The autumn full moon, which falls on Sept. 13 for this year, is believed by ancient Chinese to be the day of rejuvenation and harvest.

Mooncakes also remain a popular for the festival. Kasikorn Bank’s research center estimated total sales of mooncakes nationwide at 950 million baht, a 2 percent increase from last year.

Additional reporting Teeranai Charuvastra


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