Hundreds of visitors gathered this weekend at a shadow puppet show at the King Mongkut Memorial Park in Phetchaburi, Thailand.
Through a series of activities, exhibitions, and seminars, the three-day event showcases the traditional shadow puppetry art while promoting Phetchaburi as a tourism destination.
On Saturday evening, the grand opening took place at King Mongkut Memorial Park with a parade, shadow puppetry exhibitions, and shadow puppet performances.
The event featured shadow puppetry shows from Thailand, Malaysia, India, and other countries and regions.
A traditional Thai shadow play form, called Nang Yai, was especially popular with viewers at the puppet event.
Nang Yai is different from other shadow puppet forms in that performers can be seen with their puppets on stage. In front of a warmly lit backdrop, they danced with their buffalo skin puppets.
Sadly, Thailand’s shadow puppetry is in danger of disappearing, just like many other ancient arts. It is hoped that the festival’s cultural activities and workshops will attract more young people to this art form.
Wat Khanon Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Museum
Nangyai Wat Khanon National Museum is located at Wat Khanon in central Thailand’s Ratchaburi Province.
One of Thailand’s most important temples is Wat Khanon Nang Yai. UNESCO awarded the temple the title The Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre (ACCU) in June 2007 for preserving the arts of Nang Yai shadow play.
Intangible cultural heritage has been conserved and restored by one of six outstanding communities in the world
The shadow puppet carving tradition was patented by Phrakhru Sattha Sunthon (Luang Pu Klom) when Wat Khanon Nang Yai was built during King Rama V’s reign.
In collaboration with craftsmen Aung, Chang, Cha, and Phung, he made one set of Nang Yai puppets called “Hanuman Thawai Waen” to make Nang Yai bigger than before.
Afterward, they made 9 more sets, so there are now 313 sets in One of the most important parts of Thai culture is Nang Yai, which is considered to be the art of royal performance art.
The show combines arts in several fields: Thai painting design, exquisite leather carving, Thai dancing art, and music. In this way, Nang Yai also exhibits the genius of Thai ancestors.