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-1062
Issue Name: Chinese New Year 2015 Postage Stamps
Issue Date: 2015-02-09
Denomination: 5 baht (2 designs)
Designer: Mr. Udorn Niyornthum (Thailand Post Company Ltd.)
Printer: Thai British Security Printing Public Company Limited, Thailand
Printing Process: Lithography, multi-color
Quantity of Stamps: 700,000 pieces per design
Sheet Composition: 10 stamps per sheet (different design)
Size: 30 x 40.5mm (Vertical – measured from perforation to perforation)
Details: “Golden Orange, Red Envelope”: The Fortune of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year Stamp symbolizes the orange and ‘Angpao’ red envelope. “Orange” is the most popular fortune fruit for Chinese people as symbol of Chinese New Year. Giving orange represents best wishes to share fortune. Orange represents gold that Chinese often give to each other.
“Angpao” is another symbol of Chinese New Year as red envelope with banknotes. Seniors or people who have jobs will give Angpao to children or relatives who are still young to work. Red envelope also represents fortune and it implies that lives will be full of luck, no longer encounter bad things.
©2015 Thailand Post
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.