‘Making Merit, Floating Bad Luck Away’; the Blessing of the Fleet — Thai Style


The Royal Coast Review has attended a Press Conference to learn about this year’s ‘Making Merit, Floating Bad Luck Away’ Festival; happening on September 14th and 15th.

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The ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ is an annual tradition in communities with a fishing industry around the world.  This involves paying respect to members of the fishing community that have passed and ceremonies to wish fishermen and their community a safe and bountiful season to come.

‘Making Merit, Floating Bad Luck Away’; the Blessing of the Fleet -- Thai Style

In Mediterranean communities this tradition began centuries ago that practice followed these fishermen to countries around the world including the Americas and Australia.  The sentiments of this tradition are also a part of the culture of Thailand’s fishing communities including Hua Hin.

Every year the fishing community of Hua Hin gathers in a festival to celebrate the blessings that a successful fishing industry has brought to the community by making merit and by floating away any lingering bad luck.

On Saturday 14th September at 3 PM there will be a colorful procession commencing at the central Buddhist temple before completing a town circuit and returning to the temple.  Expect a joyous and noisy assembly of traditionally dressed dancers with musical accompaniment and floats.  One of the local traditions involves small dolls on offer (a small donation is expected) which may represent family members; signed and ready to ‘set sail’ the following day.

‘Making Merit, Floating Bad Luck Away’; the Blessing of the Fleet -- Thai Style

On Sunday 15th September, morning celebrations begin at 9 AM with merit making activities for ancestors and other spirits revered by the fishing community.  This will happen near the beach alongside the Hilton Hotel and the Chao Mae Tub Tim Chinese Shrine. 

Decorated fishing boats feature as the dolls are taken out to sea to be cast adrift in smaller paper boats.  In due course these small boats will sink and the dolls returned to the sea.  Being plaster-based they will quickly disintegrate without concerns for any damage to the environment.

Visitors are encouraged to enjoy and participate in the celebrations at any stage of the two days.  This is a great way to experience Thai traditions and ceremonies that have continued over many generations and are destined to continue for many more. 

Members of the fishing community of Hua Hin were the first people to make their home in here long before that name was bestowed by royal decree.  Recognition of the importance of their contribution will be the clear and warranted focus of this Festival.  

‘Making Merit, Floating Bad Luck Away’; the Blessing of the Fleet -- Thai Style