Thai Festival

Diplomatic relations have been ongoing between Germany and Thailand for 150 years, and this anniversary forms the central focus of this year's Bad Homburg Thai Festival. The festival is being organized by the Royal Thai Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main in conjunction with the Thai community in Germany. As has also been the case in previous years, the Far Eastern country will again be presenting its brightly colored and exotic splendor. This time, however, there are some very special highlights in store for visitors. They include not only an informative exhibition that traces the historic beginnings and progress of the diplomatic relations, but also a traditional Phi Ta Khon procession in honor of the spirits.

The organizers are flying in 20 artistes specifically for this procession; they will be accompanied by the governor of Loei province. The Phi Ta Khon festival is a ceremony passed down from one generation to the next that honors the spirits and guardians of the region. It is the most important celebration in Loei province. The spirits wear masks and costumes. The artistes hang tin cans or a wooden bell around their necks or hips to make loud noises while they dance, thus symbolizing the presence of the spirits. Many Phi Ta Khon spirits bear phallic symbols carved from soft wood. The spirits especially enjoy making fun with their audience. The Phi Ta Khon masks – comprising hat, face and nose – are traditionally crafted by hand, and are uniquely creative. Visitors to the festival can observe the skills used to create and paint the masks.

Various forms of Thai self-defense will also be shown, ranging from Muaythai (Thai boxing) with its traditional dance in honor of the instructor, to fight demonstrations involving swords and staves. Last but not least, the cultural program will feature a presentation of stunningly beautiful traditional Thai costumes, together with classic Thai dances. Anyone who is interested in Thai musical instruments can visit the exhibition dedicated specifically to this theme.

The Thai student organization in Germany is going to run a tombola. The prizes include return flights from Frankfurt to Thailand on Thai Airways, and domestic flights within Thailand on Bangkok Airways.

 

 

 

150 years of German-Thai friendship

 

It all began back in 1861. A Prussian delegation headed by Special Envoy and Empowered Minister Friedrich Albrecht Graf zu Eulenberg visited the Kingdom of Siam from November 22, 1861 to February 24, 1862. This delegation was the first official German mission to set foot on Thai soil. The conclusion of the Friendship, Trade and Shipping Agreement on February 7, 1862 in Bangkok between the Kingdom of Siam, on the one side, and the States of the German Customs Union and the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, on the other, marked both the historic beginnings of cooperation and trusting partnership, which proved to be fruitful for both sides, and the start of a particularly warm friendship between Germans and Thais. 150 years of German-Thai friendship: A living example of successful relations between two states and lasting understanding among different cultures.