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Island honours its heroine sisters
Island honours its heroine sisters
Women dressed as as soldiers to frighten off the invaders
(2009-03-09 12:04:08)
PHUKET will celebrate the memory of its famous heroine sisters, Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, this month with a carnival.

The annual festival will run from Saturday March 7 until March 22, and will be based around the landmark Heroines Monument roundabout in Thalang.

The festivities will begin on March 7 with a group ordination of Buddhist priests into the brotherhood of the Latthivanaram Temple, hosted by the Foundation of Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn.

The novice monks will have their heads shaved and will remain in the temple until the festival ends on March 22.

There will also be sightseeing tours of historical sites for tourists, which will include the Thalang National Museum, the Pranang Sang Temple, the residence of Thao Thep, Prathong Temple and the memorial to the two sisters and Thalang’s Victory.

On Sunday, March 8, the Thepkrasattri Municipality will host a racing mountain bike tour along some of the island’s historical routes, there will be local sporting competitions including takraw, sea boxing, a tug of war, a walk rally, and a sack race.

The fun will continue into the night with a Thai boxing or Muay Thai tournament, which will begin at 8.30pm.

On March 12, the Foundation of Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn will hold a worship ceremony at Muang Komarapat Temple to commemorate our grandparents and Thalang’s ancestral warriors, and the following day, the Phuket provincial cultural office will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument.

There will also be a Light & Sound presentation based on the history of the two sisters’ heroic performances.

A range of local OTOP (One Tambon, One Product) produce
and local food will be provided by 16 government organizations around Phuket.

The two sisters are remembered for their bravery more than 220 years ago when they helped ward off a planned invasion of Phuket by Burmese troops.

Thao Thep Krasattri, who was formerly known as Khunying Chan and her younger sister, Thao Sri Soonthorn, or Khunying Mook, were the daughters of the then governor
of Thalang.

On March 13, 1785, the city of Thalang was under siege and there were not enough soldiers or weapons to fight off the Burmese invaders.

The two sisters gathered together 500 women, divided them into groups, dressed them up as men, and gave them fake weapons.

The women then paraded around the city, day and night.

The ruse worked and the Burmese invaders, thinking that Thalang had too many soldiers and too many weapons, abandoned their invasion plans and withdrew.

On March 13, Khuying Chan ordered the city’s cannons to open fire on the Burmese troops.

King Rama I proclaimed the day a day of national victory, and personally granted Khunying Chan and Khunying Mook the honorary names of Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand will advertise and promote this month’s festival in provinces throughout Thailand.

For further information, call the Tourism Authority of Thailand on 076 212 213 or visit www.tat.or.th