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Khai Bang Rachan | Singburi’s Body

March 4, 2019

The Green Lion

– article written by Arauca Lozito

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If you stop by early you will see everything very calm, but when the sun falls down everything will start to come to life. Local food, theater plays and even a walk around with horses will welcome you to one of the biggest festivals taking place at the city of Singburi. In a 3 day celebration that might extend to the weekend, the local government works for months to create the body known as the festival to honor the 11 heroes of ancient times: The Bang Rachan Heroes Memorial Fair. It is not an easy job even when they count with the help of government staff and volunteers from the city making a total of 1,500 that will raise the body that this fair is composed of. Over one side there is the Bang Rachan Memorial Museum while parallel to it lays the Wat Pai Mai Dang Temple; in both sides entertainment can be found.

Thailand’s Government, the body:

Radio broadcastings, advertising billboards throughout the highways or even big cars driving around the host city and neighbor places of Lopburi and Chai Nat are some of the channels the government uses to promote the upcoming event. These signs can be seen in the capital as an invitation for foreigners to stop by at the city a couple kilometers to the north. The only problem is that the information displayed appears completely in Thai, so the message does not reach them.

To prepare everything in a more effective and easy way, the workload is divided into 3 main groups: the organizers of locating each and every event, the accountants who will divide the budget given by the government, and the festival promoters to the citizens within the country. The main purpose if the fair is to commemorate the victories won against the Burma’s army attacks, place currently known as Myanmar. The government takes advantage of this and prepares small booths with a big variety of products to be sold, making the time more pleasant and giving an opportunity to promote local articles.

Through Singburi’s FaceBook webpage you can find in-depth information about this event and many others, though all the information available is written in Thai. (The webpage can be translated into any language, but the veracity and accuracy of the information is not guaranteed)

OTOP, the spirit:

After spending time during the early morning to get to see all the preparations, the OTOP are the ones that move the festival. One Tambon, One Product, or One Village, One product must be popular products of specific areas. Within the 6 districts Singburi is conformed of, only one little booth will be able to commercialize a certain product in particular. This way it is possible to highlight specific peculiarities from the chosen article among other products.

During the several small activities that form the Bang Rachan festival, you will be able to take a glimpse of people recording the happenings from up close. The captured material will be used for promotions on television as advertising, so don’t wait for it and watch it later since it’s not broadcasted. It would be unfair to only show the heroes’ festival when the other 76 provinces also have festivals going on.

Throughout the 3 days of the festival you will be able to enjoy the same activities so there’s no need to rush if you don’t arrive on time for the first night.

The Public, the soul:

Those who visit the fair, be it with their partners or friends, have so much to look over and try out that certainly one day is not enough. The public is the one that motivates the festival to stay active for long hours and gives it life from the moment they open the doors until they leave late at night. To see how kids and grownups are excited when they go through the streets skirting the surroundings of the event, this is when the biggest expression of the union between Singburi’s body and spirit come together.

If you wish to be part of an historical staging and have fun until midnight, then the Festival of Bang Rachan Heroes is something you should not miss. Even when it was my first time attending, I felt this as a very entertaining way to learn about a new culture while having fun. The dedication and enthusiasm that each detail was prepared to honor the heroes from the past will remain inside the memory of those who visited the place. To get to know more about the festive side of Singburi you should prepare to visit the city on the first week of February and be part of the joy. Come and celebrate the victory of the eleven heroes!

The Green Lion

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