A major cultural event “Don Chedi Memorial and Red Cross Fair” will be held in Suphanburi province from 18 January to 1 February 2017. The two-week fair will take place in the Don Chedi Memorial compound in Don Chedi district. It is meant to commemorate the glorious victory of King Naresuan the Great in a traditional royal battle on elephant back. The fair includes a Muay Thai show, a bazaar of OTOP, products, an exhibition of public and private organizations, and many cultural performances. The highlight is a multimedia presentation on King Naresuan’s heroic deeds and the history of Suphanburi.
The shows will be held from 7:00pm to 8:15pm on the following nights: 18-19 January, 21-22 January, 26-29 January, 31 January-1 February 2017. Tickets are 100 Baht. Call 035-535-377 for more information.
Regarded as a respected hero and warrior in Thai history, King Naresuan reigned over the Thai kingdom from 1590 to 1605 during the Ayutthaya period. When he was nine years old, Prince Naresuan was taken as a hostage to Burma, now Myanmar, after the Ayutthaya King was overrun by the powerful Burmese army. He was brought up in the Burmese royal court. His close companion was Burmese Crown Prince Min Chit Swa, known among Thais as Phra Maha Upparacha. At the age of 16, Prince Naresuan returned to Ayutthaya and was appointed Crown Prince by his father, King Maha Thammaracha, the then ruler of the Thai vassal state under Burmese rule. He immediately built up his own forces and set his aim to liberate the Ayutthaya Kingdom from the Burmese.
After succeeding his father as king in 1590, King Naresuan fended off the Burmese on several occasions. The most glorious battle was his duel on elephant back with his childhood friend Crown Prince Min Chit Swa, who was killed in the fight. It took place on 18 January 1592 at Nong Sarai field in Suphan Buri. The Thai government later designated 18 January Thai Armed Forces Day to commemorate King Naresuan’s heroic deeds. Following the battle on elephant back, King Naresuan ordered the construction of a pagoda at Nong Sarai field in memory of the Burmese Crown Prince. When the pagoda was discovered in 1913, King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) organized a grand celebration. Later, in 1952, a committee was formed by the Royal Thai Army to carry out a major renovation of the pagoda, together with the construction of a statue of King Naresuan on elephant back, which is generally referred to as Don Chedi Memorial.
Today, the Memorial has become a landmark of the central province of Suphan Buri, about 107 kilometers from Bangkok by car. Suphan Buri has a vision to develop itself as a leading province for producing quality food and products at international standards. Local residents take pride in the Don Chedi Memorial Fair, which has been organized on an annual basis since 1959.
Main Source: Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations