Talat Noi explores its catholic roots

Locals bring flowers to pay respects to statue of Christ every Easter.

A crowd of Catholic faithful and spectators bore witness to a statue of the body of Christ being paraded from the centuries-old the Holy Rosary Church, also known as Kalawa, in Talat Noi. Once a year, the Roman Catholic church in Samphanthawong district pulls in Catholics who bring with them garlands to offer to the statue. They also kiss its foot before taking the flowers home.

The long tradition has been passed down and celebrated for generations. On Good Friday evening of every year, the so-called Corp of Christ makes its appearance in the parade. The evening is not fixed in the calendar. This year it falls on April 19.

Good Friday is observed on the Friday which proceeds Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday. On this day, people remember the death of Jesus on the cross. Christians attend the Good Friday service where they read biblical accounts of Jesus’ death on the cross.

The history of the Kalawa, dating to 1769, is tied to a group of Portuguese Catholic resettlers who made the area their home following the fall of the old capital of Ayutthaya. The current church building, in Gothic Revival style, was built in 1891–97 on the site of two previous structures.

The church on a stilted wood structure was first built at the site in 1787. Local communities initially relied on French priests before the the church finally established communion with the Holy See. The Portuguese community gradually left the area leaving the Chinese immigrants as the church’s main attendees.

In 1838, a new wooden church building sitting on a masonry base, was constructed although it was not until Oct 1, 1839 that the church was formally dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.

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