Traditional Sports at Phra Samut Chedi

The Temple Fair in Samut Prakan has now reached its fourth day. Today is the 8th day of the waning moon of the 11th lunar month. On this day every year, the local people from Phra Samut Chedi District come together to compete in various traditional games. The event was presided over by Mr. Surachai Khanasa, the Governor of Samut Prakan. The District Chief sent a flotilla of boats across the Chao Phraya River to pick up the Governor at the Provincial Hall and then escort him back to the waterfront at Phra Samut Chedi. As you can see from this first picture, the pagoda now has a brand new sacred red cloth which was wrapped around it on the first day of the Temple Fair.

The highlight of the day was the long boat races. These boats were very long and had as many as 30 rowers. There were also other boat races which only had half a dozen rowers.

In these picture, the people are competing to finish a thatched roof first. They are sewing together nipa palm leaves. This palm tree is very common in this district and people use the plant for many different commercial reasons.

Another skill needed if you live in this district is to be able to safely catch crabs. In order to stop them crawling away or biting you, the crabs need to be securely tied up. The winner of this competition was the person to tie up the most crabs.

This next competition is one that I probably would lose. I am not really that fond of cockles. But these people had to eat a large plate full of cockles. The winner was the first person to eat all of their cockles. I hope they were well cooked as there seemed to be a lot of red liquid left on the plate.

This last competition was the most fun to watch. In Thai it is called Muay Talay which translates as Sea Boxing.The rules are simple. The person who falls into the water first loses the round. We had an enjoyable morning watching all the fun and games. We have posted more pictures on the Samut Prakan Forums. I have also posted a video in the Paknam Video Blogs.

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