December 9, 2015
Your chance to see a stunning re-enactment of the regal ceremonies from Siam’s earliest history.
When: February 2017 (TBC)
Where: King Narai Palace, Lopburi Central Thailand
This nine day event is to pay respect to King Narai the Great (Thai: นารายณ์; 1633 – 11 July 1688) or Ramathibodi III (รามาธิบดีที่ ) or Ramathibodi Si Sanphet (รามาธิบดีศรีสรรเพชญ). Who was the king of Ayutthaya from 1656 to 1688 and arguably the most famous Ayutthaya monarch. His reign saw the kingdoms greatest commercial and diplomatic success, all around the then known world.
The event includes a beautiful re-enactment, of a regal ceremony that would have graced the Kings palace during his reign, along with a spectacular procession of colourful floats, horses and majestic elephants.
That’s far from the finish of this mass of noise and colour, there is also the specially arranged ‘changing of the guards’ ceremony, a light-and-sound presentation as well as a host of cultural displays and dancers.
For the shopaholics, there is the “retro” market, featuring shops and stalls offering a vast choice of traditional, handcrafts, succulent food and beverages. Some of the vendors in the spirit of the festival will take payment in the form of the ancient Thai ‘bullet’ money.
Lopburi (Thai: ลพบุรี; pronunciation) is the capital city of Lopburi Province in Thailand. It is about 150 kilometres (93 mi) northeast of Bangkok the city is also home to the colourful if somewhat crazy Monkey Buffet Festival held annually on the last Sunday in November.
There is historical evidence to suggest that the city has been continuously habited for around 3000 years, making it one of the oldest inhabited cities in the Kingdom. Formerly known as Lavo or Lavapura, meaning “city of Lava“, in reference to the ancient South Asian city of Lavapuri (present-day Lahore).
Lopburi had for centuries been ruled by several Kingdoms, until the 14th century when control, was taken by the then people of Siam. The many artifacts, uncovered in and around the area, point to a colourful if some-what turbulent past. It became the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom during the reign of King Narai the Great in the mid-17th century.
About King Narai’s Palace:
Officially named Phra Narai Ratchaniwet and locally known as Wang Narai, the ruins of the palace are located in the old center of Lopburi town.
King Narai the Great made Lopburi the second capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. He ordered a new Palace built near the Lopburi River where he stayed most of the year. The Palace was designed by French architects in a mix of Thai and European architectural styles. Construction started in 1665 and was completed 12 years later in 1677.
The 17 acres Palace grounds are enclosed by brick walls covered with plaster. In the walls are thousands of niches, shaped as lotus flowers, that contained oil lamps which illuminated the Palace at night. Eleven gates provide access to the grounds.
After King Narai’s death in 1688 the Palace was abandoned. Nearly two centuries later King Mongkut, ordered restoration of the Palace and the construction of several new buildings. Nowadays, the Palace buildings are in use as exhibition halls for the Lopburi museum.
‘This really is a wonderful event and a great chance to share with the warm hearted people of Thailand, their love and reverence for their past and present Monarchs and at the same time be surrounded by a party atmosphere that takes hold of all your senses and gives them a spectacular joy ride’
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