The Phuket Old Town Festival starts today so I am in a hurry to finish my blogging for the day and get out and enjoy the crowds and the food…
Sunday being my usual day off and the Friday afternoon announcement that local schools would be closed on Monday and Tuesday for Chinese New Year — not to mention extremely high temperatures and a huge dip in internet speed caused a great deal of relaxation (err, laziness) at the Jochim household over the past couple of days. The Thais really have the right idea on how to deal with the heat: they sleep through it. I haven’t yet mastered the art of not waking up in a pool of sweat, however.
Finally, we seem to be past the huge number of holidays and other activities that served as disruptions in the school schedule, starting in early December with Thai National Day and Constitution Day, continuing through Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, Mid-Term exams, and culminating with Thai Children’s Day and National Teacher’s Day nearly two weeks ago. I believe last week was the first in more than a month and a half where I worked a full week. My students were quite attentive and productive during most of the week so I rewarded both high school classes with a rare “Games Day” on Friday which was as much fun for their teacher as for them. It was a very long week, indeed.
Issue Number: TH-1062Issue Name: Chinese New Year 2015 Postage StampsIssue Date: 2015-02-09Denomination: 5 baht (2 designs)Designer: Mr. Udorn Niyornthum (Thailand Post Company Ltd.)Printer: Thai British Security Printing Public Company Limited, ThailandPrinting Process: Lithography, multi-colorQuantity of Stamps: 700,000 pieces per designSheet Composition: 10 stamps per sheet (different design)Perforation: unk.Size: 30 x 40.5mm (Vertical – measured from perforation to perforation)Details: “Golden Orange, Red Envelope”: The Fortune of … Continue reading TH-1062: Chinese New Year 2015
January was yet another philatelic-filled month and I added quite a few stamps to my various collections. Most were obtained online and I made two trips to the Phuket Philatelic Museum to buy new Thai stamps. I received a flurry of postcards at the start of the month but, alas, no further Christmas cards. I only received one this past holiday despite mailing almost forty which is more than a little discouraging! Perhaps the biggest event of the entire month was (finally) finding a stamp inventory program that I like and it’s caused me to make some real changes.
As I write this on January 1st, the first of Thailand’s stamp issues for 2015 is scheduled for release. It is a public holiday and the local post office is closed so I will attempt to purchase my copies of the stamp and first day cover tomorrow. This first issue, 1058 in Thailand Post’s numbering scheme, is the annual Chinese zodiac issue for the Year of the Goat in a completely new design as the previous twelve releases in this series. One of the things I love about collecting Thai new issues is the low face value – most stamps are either three or five baht so an entire sheet of ten or twenty can be purchased for less than US $2.00. A full set of single stamps and first day covers for the entire year will run less than $50, judging on what has been announced so far.
In late January and early February, those of us in Phuket look forward to the year’s second big New Year’s blow-out. There is a huge Chinese population centered on Phuket Town. Many of the older families began during the tin-mining boom starting in the mid-nineteenth century and their clan shrines still dot the small lanes of the community. The Old Town Phuket Festival, celebrating the area’s rich history and unique culture, is usually held a few days following the start of Chinese New Year. It is my favorite of the local festivals, even more so than September/October’s Vegetarian Festival.
Despite it’s long history and importance to the Thai economy as a popular tourism destination, Phuket has been the direct subject of only five stamps in the 130 years that Thailand has had a postal system. None of them are particularly rare or expensive and can form the core of a nice topical collection.
Remarkably, none of Phuket’s famous beaches has ever been pictured on a Thai postage stamp although several nearby islands and coastlines have. However, those all belong to the provinces of Krabi and Phang Nga.
Continue reading “The Stamps of Phuket”
Today is the first day of the seventh lunar month on the Chinese calendar. It is the beginning of the annual fifteen-day period that Thai-Chinese people believe the spirits of their ancestors are released from heaven to visit their relatives. In Thailand, it is popularly known as Ngan Por Tor or the “Hungry Ghost Festival” in English.