July 28, 2016
The Pomelo festival in Chai Nat, central Thailand, is a quaint rural festival that celebrates the provinces long history with the pomelo fruit
When: Mid September TBA
Where: In front of Chai Nat Provincial Hall, Muang district, Chai Nat province. Central Thailand
Apart from its long history, Chainat is famous for its many handicrafts, including basketry, sculpture, weaving, as well as ceramics and for its sweet tasting ‘Khao Taeng Kwa’ Pomelo, which is believed to have been grown in the area for over 100 years. The fruit tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit, though the typical pomelo is much larger than the grapefruit. It has none, or very little, of the common grapefruit’s bitterness. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick rind pith.
While the event is in its 33rd year and normally goes on for 9 days, it is still a small provincial event, which lends it its own unique Thai charm. The festivals kicks off with an opening ceremony to worship the Shrine of the City Pillar and also to worship the King Rama V Monument, in order to ask for prosperity and good health for the local people. This is followed by a colourful pomelo parade featuring a host of local communities from the different sub-districts, within the province, all vying to produce this year’s best costumes and floats.
The event also plays host to the Chai Nat’s Miss Pomelo 2016 pageant, the winner can expect to receive a crown, sash and a cash prize of 150,000 Baht. Apart from the pageant, the event also hosts numerous competitions of the ‘Khao Taeng-Kwa’ pomelo.
For those with a passion for this juicy fruit then this is your opportunity to buy a host of pomelo products such as pomelo peels infused with herbs, stewed pomelo peels, flavored pomelo balls, pomelo peel soap bars, pomelo peel shampoo and to top it all off pomelo wine and ice cream,
The event also has a range of demonstrations and exhibitions on how to grow and maintain the fruit trees, along with how some of the products are made and is home to a daily free concert featuring popular Thai artists.
For more information, call the Office of Chainat. Chainat 056411181 Tourism Association, Tel. 056411115 and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Suphanburi Office Tel. 035 536 030, 035 535 789.
A little on Chainat
Chai Nat was first established during the Ayutthaya period and was used as a successful base of operations for confronting the Burmese army. Thai history tells that the Burmese were defeated every time they encroached into Thailand, in doing so the area earned the name Chai Nat, “place of victory” or “roaring victory”.
The city sits on the flat river plain of central Thailand’s Chao Phraya River valley. In the south of the province the Chao Phraya Dam (formerly Chainat Dam) impounds the Chao Phraya River, both for flood control as well as to divert water into the country’s largest irrigation system for the use of rice farmers in the lower river valley. The dam, part of the Greater Chao Phraya Project, was finished in 1957 and was the first dam constructed in Thailand.
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