From February 18th to 27th, the “Phra Nakhon Khiri-Muang Phet Fair” will be held at and around Phra Nakhon Khiri, or Khao Wang, in Muang district, Phetchaburi province.
The annual event is organised to honour King Rama IV, and marks the anniversary of Phra Nakhon Khiri, his summer palace. It will promote tourism in the province, especially Phra Nakhon Khiri National Museum.
Khao Wang is a hill located in the heart of Phetchaburi city, it is the location of first hill palace of Thailand. “Phra Nakhon Khiri” palace was built by King Chomklao (Mongkut), or the Rama IV reign, in 1859, with Chao Phaya Sri Suriyawong (Chuang Bunnag) was the chief architect. It was built with a palace temple, Wat Phra Keo Noi, a stupa, to contain the relics of Lord Buddha named by the Kings as Chompetch relics and planted temple trees on both sides connecting the three hills and the group of the throne halls.
Phra Nakhon Khiri is a main tourist attraction of Phetchaburi with importance in history, culture and natural beauty. In 1935 it was registered as a historical place and in 1979 was declared as a national museum. Every year from February through April the temple trees on Khao Wang hill almost 200 years old numbering 1,263 trees all show off more than one million flowers.
The fair includes exhibitions to honor ancestral kings with performances of Department of Fine Arts, a parade to honor the kings and the Phetchaburi way of life. Performances on the central stage, a contest of Phetchaburi beauties, demonstration of foods and local sweets, ox chariot racing, decoration of lights and fireworks on Khao Wang each night.
On the grounds of the museum, visitors will be able to observe the making of stucco art in the shape of mystical animals, see a display of the Thai Song Dam ethnic people’s lifestyle, and enjoy classical music, art and crafts and cultural performances, including a nang talung shadow play.
At the King Rama IV Memorial Park at the foot of the hill, there will be a demonstration of local craft making and cooking, concerts, Thai dances, a community tourism fair and a local food and product fair.
On February 18th, the opening ceremony will begin at about 4pm with cultural parades from the province’s eight districts.
Visitors can enter the compound of Phra Nakhon Khiri to watch fireworks and the palace’s illuminated areas, including Wat Phra Kaew Noi and Phra That Chom Phet, the main pagoda, every night throughout the event and are encouraged to wear traditional costumes.
Every night, at least 250 fireworks will be lit at 9pm. On the first night, 300 extra fireworks will be lit at 7pm during the opening ceremony.
This year local people who have made a significant contribution to the community will be formally recognised as part of the “Phetchaburi Outstanding People” awards.