Village Cycles, The Seasonal Cycle, The Thai Villagers Life Portion 6

Throughout the year, villagers share a widespread interest in gambling, travelling (pai tiao) and sports. Gambling is a passion. The national lottery excites imaginations in every province, as do cock, bull, fish and cricket-fights by the score. Card games are a pastime favoured by each sexes and practically every person can play Thai-style chess.

Pai tiao by foot, boat, bus, motor bike or rail is a favourite way to loosen up Travelling makes the villages less insular and individual relations with family members and buddies are trea-sured as considerably for the possibilities they afford for travel as for the affection upon which they are primarily based.

In addition to national celebrations there are regional festivals like the Northeast Ngan Hae Bong Fai or skyrocket festival in May or June of each and every year. Traditionally a period of letting off steam, the festival’s highpoint happens when, amongst considerably higher-spirited revelry, villagers fire homemade rockets, some of them 20 metres tall, into the sky to make certain plentiful rainfall for the forthcoming rice season.

A sharp contrast can be seen in the soberly attended, purely religious festivals such as the Northeastern Sern Prawaerd which commemorates the Buddha’s last incarnation prior to his rebirth to grow to be the historical Buddha. Inside the temple compound, person monks take turns chanting the story of Prawaerd and of the Buddha’s numerous other preceding exis-tences.

Takraw and kite flying are well-known sports. Takraw is played by a loosely formed circle of men who use their feet, knees, thighs, chests and shoulders to acrobatically pass a woven rattan ball to every other, endeavouring to keep it per-petually in the air and sooner or later kick it into a basket hung high above their heads.

Kites are flown mainly in the course of the breezy hot season. Popular in Thailand since at least the founding of Sukhothai, kites have profitably been employed in war-fare : an Ayutthayan governor quelled a 1690 Northeast city-state’s rebellion by flying huge chula kites over the besieged city and bombing it into submission with jars of explosives.

Nowadays, kite flying is an person pleasure or a competitive sport. Opposing teams fly male (chula) and female (pakpao) kites in a surrogate battle of the sexes. The small, agile pakpao tries to fell the more cumbersome chula, whilst the male kite seeks to ensnarl the female kite and drag it back into male territory.

During temple fairs, another well-known sport, the unique martial art of Thai boxing, is often featured. An art of self-defence created in the course of the Ayutthaya period, Thai boxing forbids biting, spitting or wrestling. Even so, boxers may punch, kick and shove and unrestrainedly use bare feet, legs, knees, elbows, shoulders and fists to savage each other into submission. A vicious kick in the throat, an elbow smash to the eyes, a knee into the stomach or a whiplash kick in the groin can instantly floor the sturdiest of opponents. Nowa-days, boxers wear traditional boxing gloves, a somewhat civilized development thinking about that significantly less than 50 years ago boxers customarily fought with fists bound with hemp which contained liberal amounts of ground glass.
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