Royal agencies and the government are hard at work to help Bangkok residents enjoy the wave of cold that has hit the city. From Feb 8 until March 11, the Dusit Winter Festival (Oon Ai Rak) will be held at the Royal Plaza and the nearby Sanam Suapa, the historic quarters that will be transformed into an exhibition space and fairground.
Following the initiative of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn, the fair will honour the Chakri dynasty and its past monarchs — particularly King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol Adulyadej — while, at the same time, aiming to lift the people’s spirits.
Over 200,000 flowering trees, arranged beds of flowers, bright and colourful, will adorn the Royal Plaza for one month, with an illuminated fountain crowning this picturesque setting.
Still, highlights of the Dusit Winter Festival will include a crowd of people in Bangkok’s old town dress up in retro-themed clothes.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has encouraged visitors to wear traditional Thai clothing and garments from the Rama V era, matching the event’s theme.
We can safely guess that Gen Prayut himself will make an appearance over the course of the next month.
If one does not have traditional clothes, appropriate modern attire is permitted.
The festival will consist of three zones, each hosting different activities. The first will cover exhibitions and activities related to the lives and duties of King Chulalongkorn and King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The decorated gardens and architecture in this zone will also correspond to the two eras.
Meanwhile, in Sanam Suapa, the spouses of military men will host shops alongside the stalls of royal-initiative charities such as the Royal Project Foundation. Culture shows and the outdoor screenings of vintage films will also take place in this area.
Finally, a third zone will include up to 30 local Thai restaurants as well as a retro photo studio, where one is invited to pose in one’s retro garments.
All revenue generated by the festival will be forwarded to the King to further assist those in need.
The fair will take place from Feb 8 until March 11, 10.30am-9.00pm every day.
Visit tourismthailand.org or call 1672.
Photo courtesy of the Dusit Winter Festival
Photo: Chanat Katanyu