Increase or decrease font size for easier reading :
The yearly Chinese deity festival is an important day
for the local Chinese community and the whole village.
Today is important day for the local community.
It is the yearly Chinese deity Festival! Since the afternoon, youngsters have roamed through the
village making noise to alert and remind locals regarding the coming festival!
Before the offical start of the festivities, the Chinese shrine
is already packed.
There is not enough room in the Chinese temple courtyard so kids
sit on the surrounding wall and adults stand outside.
Loud music done with percussion instruments indicate the official start of the festivities.
Local youngsters dressed in Chinese colorful clothes cheer the crowd.
The doors of the Chinese temple are opened for the deity
to see the festivities. The performers start to heat up.
The temple caretaker installs very long firecrackers on two poles
inside the Chinese temple courtyard.
The firecrackers are then lit. There is huge noise during five minutes
similar to a machine gun noise until the climax explosion. Red color confetti
is flying everywhere.
After the cheerful firecrackers' loud bang, it is time
for lion dances.
Local performers continue to heat up and check the poles on which
the lions will dance.
Two people are inside the lion. They are moving the head and body
with precision and ease following the background drum beat. The lion shows every emotion,
from happiness and joy to the deepest sorrow.
The first lion appears. The lion has a huge, multi coloured papier-mache head with a
long multi colored train.
Outdoor cinema companies are still hired to screen
at weddings, funerals, temple fairs, ordination ceremonies and Chinese shrine
worshippings. Outdoor cinema companies sometimes screen films not to live
audiences but to invisible deities as most of the business of outdoor cinema companies
is done nowadays with Buddhist temples and Chinese shrines.
In Chinese communities, there are usually Chinese shrines and every year the local
people organise an annual worshipping rite to the gods. Besides food offerings, there is
always an outdoor movies session as part of the rite. This is very popular during the end
of the year and the start of the year.
As a rule, there is always a short Chinese opera film first
as the gods are Chinese. Then after there are regular Thai or American movies.
During the deity festival, mobile stalls are selling snacks, drinks etc...
Various outdoor games are also available for kids and adults.
It includes shoot-the-balloon stalls and painting figurines stalls.
The lion produces an impressive dance while jumping from one
pole to another. Colleagues are standing by in case the lion misses
one pole and falls.
The intensity increases when a second lion appears and starts to jump
on poles too.
When the lion dances are over, the participants pay the respect to the
The local performers hang over each other and pay their respect to the
local Chinese deity. Participants form a pyramid of layers of persons, each standing and supporting
on four levels. A small kid is at the top of the human pyramid.
Once the respects to the local Chinese deity are performed, dragon dance
The festivities' peak is the appearance of a big and colorful dragon
handled by many performers.
Local performers stand on a metallic structure. A dragon is stretching over them and
sending smoke from his nostrils. He tries to catch a ball held by another performer on a top of
Continuous loud firecrackers and a beautiful firework celebrate the end of the festivities.
The festival ends with cheering and clapping from the amazed crowd.