March 26, 2017
How a Monkey Warrior created this ancient city – Tribute to deities in Lop Buri
When: Annually late March
Lopburi is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, famous for the hundreds of crab-eating macaques that overrun the Old Town. These local apes are such an integral part of the city, there’s even an annual Monkey Buffet Festival and a monkey temple/amusement park, so much revolves around these at times rude primates that Lopburi is now known as the City of Monkeys.
According to Thai legend, Phra Ram rewarded his mythical monkey warrior: Hanuman, land to establish his own city. To decide where he would build this new city, Hanuman shot an arrow into the air; it fell in what is now the city of Lop Buri, (formally Lavo). An item believed to be that arrow is kept in the Luk Sorn Shrine, while Monkeys living in Lop Buri are believed to be the descendants of Hanuman
This ancient 3 day, annual fair is in honour of the local shrine, of Chao Phor and Chao Mae of Luk Sorn, it is also a time for, local residents of Chinese descent to honour the statues of Chao Phor and Chao Mae of Luk Sorn, plus their own Chinese gods and deities that are all housed within the shrine.
Begins early, with monks giving blessings at the shrine, then around 10:00 am the ceremony to pay homage to the deities begins. This is followed by a wonderful display of golden dragon and lion dances, along with Chinese acrobatic shows, all the while accompanied by Chinese musicians.
Approx. 08:00, a procession carrying the statues of Chao Phor and Chao Mae of Luk Sorn, plus Chinese gods, goddesses and deities, winds its way around the town. Accompanied all the way, by colourful and energetic lion and dragon dances, along with an assortment of other equally colourful Chinese dancers and musicians.
On the last day at the shrine, a Chinese-style reception is held, followed by a charity auction of amulets.
While this is an ancient event it is not on the radar of most tourists and is far smaller, than the annual Monkey festival held in late November, that said it is a time of vibrant colours and the clamor of gongs and drums and is certainly, worth the visit if you are lucky to be in the Kingdom in March
Call the TAT’s Lop Buri Office at 036-770-096/7 or Lop Buri Samakkhi Songkhroh Foundation 036411021
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