A former capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, whose name is Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, is holding the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair 2013 from 13 to 22 December.
The annual event takes place in the Ayutthaya Historical Park compound, in the city of Ayutthaya.
It aims to celebrate the historical significance of the Thai ancient capital with celebrations and displays of traditional culture and lifestyles. The 10-day fair will feature cultural performances and entertainments, [including] Thai folk music and Thai classical dances. The event is held in conjunction with Ayutthaya province’s annual Red Cross Fair, with a bazaar of community products.
The highlight of the celebration is a nightly light and sound presentation, depicting the glorious past of Ayutthaya, at Wat Manathat. The tickets for the show cost 200 baht and 500 baht.
Visitors are invited to travel back in time to experience the ancient people’s way of life in a replica market of the Ayutthaya period at Wat Langka Khao. At this market, people use ancient coins to exchange for food and desserts.
Ayutthaya is famous for monumental remnants of old palaces and temples spread across a tranquil landscape. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 13 December 1991. Since then, this ancient capital has celebrated its glorious past each year, with various interesting activities.
Ayutthaya served as Thailand’s capital from 1350 to 1767, a period of 417 years. During the period, 33 kings from five dynasties ruled the kingdom. The capital of the Ayutthaya kingdom was a powerful city with strong religious and cultural influences, many of which remain ingrained in Thai society. It grew into one of Asia’s most renowned metropolises, inviting comparison with great European cities, such as Paris and Venice.
In olden days, Ayutthaya emerged as one of the richest ports of Southeast Asia. It sold rice, dried fish, and forest products to other countries in the region. The period was early Thai history’s great era of international trade. The city has retained its status as a rice bowl of Thailand up to the present day.
The Ayutthaya Historical Park, where the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair is held, was described by UNESCO as a repository of priceless art and a symbol of excellence in artistic creativity. This center of Asian civilization is a must-see for any traveler to Thailand.
Statistics compiled in 2011 show that Ayutthaya had a population of 787,653. At that time, more than 33,000 families were engaged in agriculture, and there were 2,161 registered factories. In terms of gross provincial product, Ayutthaya ranked sixth, after Rayong, Chon Buri, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, and Prachin Buri. Rice is the most important economic crop in this province.