Chulalongkorn National Holiday
In late October I made a trip with my friends to Ayutthaya. There was a public holiday, Chulalongkorn day to reminisce the great Rama V king, on October 23rd so my friends were lucky enough to have two days off in a row. I didn’t so I caught up with them on the public holiday together with another friend who also had to work the day before. We were going to take a taxi to the train station from Surasak BTS station. I had never been there before and it didn’t really seem like a special place to me. But I was incredibly lucky because right on that day at that place there was a Hindu festival taking place. Truly a lucky situation of being at the right place at the right time. Also, my friend was running late leaving me with some time to take a look around the festivities.
The festival, called Navaratri festival or Navratri I later learned, I situated right on a busy car road, Silom Road, near Surasak BTS station and Chong Nonsi station, where the main Hindu temple Sri Maha Marianman is located. It is a festival to worship the Hindu deity Durga, the mother of the universe. The street is filled with small shrines filled with flowers, dolls, candles, incense, paintings and more. Some people were praying to the shrines, others were decorating them, there were also people like me just taking photos and admiring, and there were even some performers doing dances. It was a little bit dangerous walking around because it was a quite busy and there were cars racing by just a few centimeters away. Crazy, but hey, that’s Bangkok.
Missed the real fun
When I arrived there it was early in the evening, but still light outside, so I guess that’s why some shrines were being set up. It was nice to look around, but when it turned dark it became really magical. The shrines were illuminated with lights and some with candles, and because of that some of the statues looked kind of eerie but all the more impressive. Although I didn’t have that much time to look around because we had to catch a train to Ayutthaya, it was enough to walk around for hour and get an impression of Hindu festival in Thailand is like. In the evening the real festivities start and on the last the day there is big parade, so it’s definitely worth a visit at that time.