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The Oldest Swinger In Town

Now if you think that this blog is  about the hedonistic lifestyle of people who hate the idea of committing to one partner at a time then I have to apologise.  I had a different kind of swinger in mind.

At least I got your attention for however brief the moment!

What I’m referring to is the Hindu Vedic ritual of swinging and it does involve one gigantic swing or in Thai,  Ching Cha (ชิงช้า).

Yes, in Bangkok, we have one of the world largest swing and might be oldest at that, right here in the old town district.  See for yourself.

เสาชิงช้าม teh oldest swing and by far the largest in Bangkok!

This swing measured 20 metre high and 10.5 metre wide. It was built in 1784 (พ.ศ. 2327) and it’s as old as Bangkok!

Every year in  December when Shiva descended  from the heaven to visit us, this ritual was performed. It was stopped in 1935, due to high fatality rate!  The ritual re-enacted a scene between Shiva and wife, Parvati (formerly Sati in the previous incarnation!). Gosh Hindu Gods do lead such interesting lives! If you want to find out more then  read up here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Swing.

Two years ago this swing was restored back to its formal glory and again this weekend, the ritual will be re performed. Here is a clip of how, apology as it is narrated in Thai.

For those who have already spotted that this year ceremony isn’t in December, thank you for paying attention zzz…. You’re right!

This year, the ritual is slightly different and it’s a two in one, post modern take  on the old ritual! It’s re invoked to bless young teak saplings, all 75 of them so that they can be given away to the each of Thailand province governors  as part of the organised ritual for the King’s birthday.

So if you have a weekend free, it’s worth going to relive Bangkok history. Good photo opportunity too. Might bump into you there then! Let’s hope the rain is taking a short break this weekend!

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