Phuket gears up for annual Heroines Festival celebrating local legends

Picture courtesy of PPAO

Phuket’s renowned Heroines Festival is gearing up for its annual celebration, set to take place between March 9 and March 23. At the heart of the event lies a tribute to the island’s celebrated heroines, Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, locally known as Chan and Mook.

These two figures are revered for their valiant efforts in leading the local people to thwart a Burmese invasion in 1785 – a feat that has been commemorated in Phuket for centuries.

The Victory Field in Thalang, the traditional venue for the festival, will once again play host to the grand event. The final plans for the festival were solidified at a recent meeting at the Phuket Provincial Hall, presided over by Phuket Governor Sophon Suwannarat.

A key part of the festival, the group ordination of novice monks, is slated for March 9 to March 23 at Thepwanaram Temple, also known as Wat Manik. Additionally, ceremonies for almsgiving and honouring the descendants of the two heroines will take place at Wat Mueang Komaraphat on March 12, reported The Phuket News.

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The Heroines Monument, an iconic landmark dedicated to the brave women, will witness the laying of wreaths and paying of respects on March 13. This solemn act is an integral part of the festival, serving as a poignant reminder of the island’s rich history and the courage of its people.

The Victory Field will also be the site for a special ceremony to raise the national flag, scheduled for March 9 and March 13. This ceremony is a symbol of national pride and unity, playing a significant role in the festival’s proceedings.

Local culture

The festival, however, is not just about solemn ceremonies. It is also a vibrant celebration of local culture and heritage. From March 13 to 15, the festival will come alive with a light and sound show, historical drama performances, and hundreds of stalls offering local delicacies. This popular event at Victory Field encapsulates the spirit of Phuket, merging its past and present in a captivating spectacle.

Governor Sophon expressed that the festival is more than a tribute to the heroines and the brave heroes of Thalang. It is also a significant opportunity to promote tourism in Phuket. He emphasised the importance of cultural tourism as a unique selling point, noting that the festival could leverage this soft power to attract more visitors to the island.

The Heroines Festival, therefore, is not just a celebration of history, but also a testament to the island’s ongoing vibrancy and appeal.

Phuket News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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