Kubota plough racing in Phimai

This weekend sees an unusual form of motor racing in Phimai – racing with ploughs.

รถไถนั่งขับ คูโบต้า Phimai

The event is the Kubota Thailand championships, competing for the Princess Sirindhorn Trophy. Kubota is a well-known agricultural machinery manufacturer in Thailand.

rot tai racing in Phimai Thailand

Today’s racing consisted of just over two laps of a circuit in a very wet and muddy field. Each race saw two teams of two men set off and race their machines around the course.

Kubota plough racing Phimai Thailand

The competition is being held over two days (Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March 2015) at the Phimai Rice Research Centre, which is located on the outskirts of Phimai town at the bypass junction. Events are scheduled to start at 9am. Today’s racing finished at 4.20pm.

Kubota plough racing competition Phimai Thailand

Entrance is free and there is free parking available in the grounds.

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Longboat racing in Phimai

Phimai is a great place to see longboat racing. Every year during the Phimai festival in November there is longboat racing. This weekend (11-12 October) saw 2 days of longboat racing in gra-bueang-yai (กระเบื้องใหญ่),  a small village about 4 miles from Phimai town.

Boat racing course gra-beuang yai PhimaiThe longboat race course – a straight line.

longboat racing PhimaiA women’s team winning their race.

Longboat race teams PhimaiTeam colours

boat racing PhimaiThe event was held to mark the end of Buddhist Lent (ork pansa –ออกพรรษา), which was on 8th October this year.

boat races gra-beuang yai PhimaiIt was the 16th annual longboat racing event to be held in gra-bueang-yai, Phimai district.

Next month will see the Phimai festival in Phimai town. Longboat racing is scheduled for 6-9 November in the usual location, Lam Jakarat, with access from Anantachinda Road or nearby. Good views of the racing can be had from the bridge on Anantachinda Road. For details of the 2014 Phimai festival see here:

https://phimai.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/phimai-festival-2014

Concerts in Phimai this week

This week there are some music concerts being played in Phimai town.

Who’s playing?

Concerts August 2014 Phimai

10 August: Kotiam-Gwian

11 August: Cocktail

12 August: Wong Gang-geng

13 August: Pai Pongsatorn

14 August: Family Valentine

15 August: Pongsit Kampee

16 August: Turbo Dance

The concerts are being held on the land that holds the “eight market”, not far from the Vocational college.

See the location of the “8 market” here: https://phimai.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/markets-in-phimai-town/

Phimai candle procession 2014

In Phimai, as in some other towns and cities in Thailand, a parade or procession is held which is commonly called a candle festival or candle procession. It is a procession or parade of wax decorated floats which have a large candle making up part of the decoration.

Candle parade Phimai 2014

Local temples and people in the local community decorate floats with figures that mostly show Buddhist related themes.

candle procession winner Phimai

The decorated floats are judged and prizes are given to the winners of each category. One of this year’s winners was the float from wat burapa-pimon – shown above and below.

candle procession winner wat bung Phimai

There are also prizes for groups of people from local communities who dress up and enter the parade either walking or with a float. In the morning, the procession goes around the old part of the town starting and finishing at the Town Clock. Prize winners are announced in the area near the Town Clock, marked in dark red on the map below.

Phimai candle procession route 2014

Candle processions in Thailand take place around the start of Buddhist Lent (kao pansa – เข้าพรรษา). The start of Buddhist Lent in 2014 is 12 July. The candle procession in Phimai takes place the day before Buddhist Lent, which is today, 11 July 2014,

Phimai candle procession sign 2014

In Korat, the candle procession will take place tomorrow,  12 July in 2014, the start of Buddhist Lent in Thailand. Buddhist Lent in Thailand continues for three months. The end of Buddhist Lent (ork pansa – ออกพรรษา) in Thailand in 2014 will be on 8 October.

Songkran in Phimai – 2014

The annual Songkran festival takes place each year on 13th, 14th and 15th April. The festival celebrates the Thai new year, which is on 13th April.

There are different aspects to Songkran in Thailand. One is considered the traditional aspect to it, which is the gentle and respectful pouring of water over the hands of ‘seniors’, senior either in age or status, or of other people you respect (parents or teachers, for example). This side of Songkran is popular with the older generation.

Songkran in Phimai 2014

Some Thai Buddhists also take the opportuity to ‘make merit’ by giving things such as food, flowers and money to monks. In Phimai, lots of people gathered together to do this at the town clock at 8am on 13 April. See picture above.

Songkran water fun

Another aspect to the festival is throwing water at people. Arguably, this is the most popular aspect of Songkran, especially with the young or young at heart. As April is usually the hottest month in Thailand, this part is not only great fun for the participants, it’s also a great way to keep cool for a few days while letting go of your inhibitions. Many people use water guns to soak other people while others use buckets or smalll plastic bowls to scoop up water to throw at others. Water fights take place on road-sides up and down the country. See picture above.

Invariably there are many traffic problems during the Songkran festival. Some parts of towns and cities in Thailand become gridlocked with traffic crawling along and people singing, dancing and throwing water at each other throughout the day. In Phimai town, the roads near or leading to the Banyan tree area seemed to me to have the most cars and revellers this year. Thai authorities encourage people to end each day’s water throwing at about 6pm or 7pm. By that time, the loud music is usually greatly reduced.

Some Thai language appropriate to the Songkran festival:

(สวัสดีปีใหม่) – sawat-dee bpee mai = Happy New Year

(สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์) – suk-san wan song-graan = Happy Songkran

(สนุก) – sanuk = fun

Phimai festival 2013

The Phimai festival takes place each year in November. This year it will be held from the 7th to 10th November. Typical events at the festival include long boat racing, a Korat cat contest, singing, Thai dancing and a sound and light show at the Phimai historical park. Stalls will be set up in the centre of the town and other smaller events will take place. This year there will be a bird contest. It will take place on Sunday 10 November at Gun-no primary school  (โรงเรียนกุลโน)

Long boat, Phimai, ThailandLong boat racing above. Sound and light show below. 

Phimai sound and light show

Here is last year’s blog entry about the Phimai festival

https://phimai.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/phimai-festival

The Phimai circuit 2013

Local runners and sports enthusiasts organise a series of 5km road running races in Phimai town. There are 3 races held two months apart. The series is called the Phimai Circuit.

The Phimai circuit for 2013 is:

1. Saturday 1 June

2. Saturday 3 August

3. Saturday 5 October

All the races this year start and finish in front of the Phimai Hospital and start at 6am.

Phimai circuit 2013Points are awarded to runners based on their finishing position in the race and small cash prizes are awarded for age group winners at the end of the year.  These races are popular with young people and hundreds of school children run or walk around the course.