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…
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.
My favorite local celebration is the Phuket Old Town Festival, now in it’s 16th year. Held annually immediately following Chinese New Year, it’s three days of blocked-off streets, massive crowds, all manner of performances – cultural and musical – booths selling many different souvenirs and articles of clothing, and an endless variety of delicious food. There is so much to see and do that I never fail to attend all three nights. This year was a bit odd as the festivities began (with a massive parade) on a Thursday so as not to disturb the popular Sunday-evening Walking Street.
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.
Last night, I made a beeline from my last class at ECC to attend the inaugural Sunday walking street market Sponsored by the Phuket Old Town Community (POTC), this will take place every Sunday from 16:00 until 22:00 along Th. Thalang and Soi Rommannee in an effort to boost civic pride and the local economy.
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.