Today's Alert 2017

December 2018

November 2018

Loy Krathong History


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In November some may wonder what is going on in Thailand when seeing travel magazine ads, posters at your hotel of Thai girls dressing in traditional Thai clothing with a beautiful floating object. That's a sign indicating that Loy Krathong is on its way. In Thai Loy means to float and Krathong means a circular floating object with decoration of banana leaves, flowers, a candle and incense sticks. All these are related to Loy Krathong, an event which does not occur on the same date every year; instead it counts on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. In this year 2007 it will be held on November 24, a romantic night. People look forward to going out and launching Krathongs together to predict the romance future by the direction the Krathongs float. However, this season is also good for strengthening relationship in family.

The history of Loy Krathong is rather obscure. Some believe that Krathong was first created by Tao Sri Chulalak or Nang Noppamas in Sukothai.

Others overlook its origin yet focus on the purposes of the ritual: to pay respect to the Goddess of the Water showing their gratitude on their plentiful use of water and ask for forgiveness in the ensuing pollution. Floating the beautiful Krathong away, which is the key activity in Loy Krathong, also refers to flying away misfortune and bad things in the past and asking for good luck in the future. Although it is not a national holiday, many activities other than floating Krathong, are conducted in this festival, such as, contests of Krathong-making and Noppamas beauty pageants, local games and performances and fireworks.


Reference

July 2018

Long Live our Professor Dr. Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn

Princess Chulabhorn was born on 4 July 1957, Bangkok, is a princess of Thailand, the youngest daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. She is officially styled Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, which corresponds to her full Thai title Somdet Phrachao Luk Thoe Chaofa Chulabhorn Walailak Agrarajakumari.

Professor Dr. Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn is an acclaimed scientist who has received many international recognitions for her scientific achievements. She has envisioned the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute to be a professional scientific research institution and Centre of Excellence in the Asia-Pacific region, to assist and expedite the increase in number of efficient quality human resources development in science and high technology, in order to serve Thailand and other countries in the region, particularly in the fields urgently needed, with professional competence in transforming their knowledge into tangible, applicable development programs.

May 2018

Professor Dr. Piyarat Govitrapong is a recipient of the TRF Annual Outstanding Research Award 2017

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The Rector of Chulabhorn Graduate Institute Prof. Dr.Somsak Ruchirawat, congratulated Prof. Dr. Piyarat Govitrapong, Chair of Applied Biological Sciences Program, on receiving the TRF Annual Outstanding Research Award 2560 from The Thailand Research Fund (TRF).

On 23 May 2018, TRF held an event to present honorary awards for outstanding researchers for the year 2017 where Prof. Dr. Piyarat Govitrapong received the TRF Annual Outstanding Research Award 2560 for the research work on “Effects of Melatonin on brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease” Deputy Prime Minister ACM Prajin Juntong chaired the award ceremony, which was held at the Swissotel Le Concorde Bangkok.

The main objective of TRF is to provide support for basic research, strategic basic research, translational research and the development of researchers at both local and national levels. To honor and promote excellence in research, TRF annually selects award recipients who have conducted outstanding and exemplary research. In accordance with the national strategic plan, TRF award criteria are now based on research application instead of types of research. The TRF Annual Outstanding Research Award 2017 were given to 14 winners in public policy, commerce, community development and academic research fields



April 2018

Songkran Festival - April 13th to 15th

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New Year celebration, Rot Nam Dam Hua, a traditional way to celebrate with elders. Most Thai people go back to their hometowns to meet their elders.

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Water fights along the west moat.

Songkran (Thai: เทศกาลสงกรานต์, pronounced [tʰêːt.sā.kāːn sǒŋ.krāːn]) is the Thai New Year's festival. The Thai New Year's Day is 13 April every year, but the holiday period includes 14–15 April as well. The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti (Devanāgarī: संक्रांति), literally “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change. The term was borrowed from Makar Sankranti, the name of a Hindu harvest festival celebrated in India in January to mark the arrival of spring. It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart and with the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia, in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.

  • What is Songkran?
    • Songkran is the occasion for family re-unions, temple visits and annual house cleaning. Many Thais observe the holidays by spending time with families and friends. Traditionally, Thais perform the Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual on the first day of Songkran, which is officially the National Elderly Day. During the ritual, young people would pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and to ask for their blessings. The second day of Songkran is officially the National Family Day. Families would wake up early and give alms to the monks, then ideally the rest of the day would be spent sharing quality family time together. An important religious ritual on Songkran is ‘Bathing the Buddha image’, in which devout Buddhists pour fragrant water over Buddha statues both at the temple and at home. More religious Thais would engage themselves in Buddhist ceremonies and merit-making activities throughout the holidays.
  • Water as Symbolism
    • Contradictory to what you may have witnessed throughout Songkran, fun-loving Thais don’t just throw water at each other for no good reason (besides having a kick out of seeing other people soaking wet). The real meaning behind the splashes is to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the new year with a fresh new start. Traditionally, Thais would politely pour a bowl of water on members of the family, their close friends and neighbours. As Songkran has taken a more festive note, a bowl becomes a bucket, garden hose and water guns, and the spirit of holiday merriment is shared amongst all town residents and tourists alike
  • Making Merit
    • Making merit is an essential part of Songkran, and visiting nine sacred temples during Songkran considered one of the ultimate accumulators. Try temples in the Rattanokosin area like Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Suthat Thepphawararam, Wat Chana Songkhram, Wat Boworn, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Rakhang Khositaram, Wat Arun and Wat Kanlaya.


References

Photos

  1. By ผู้สร้างสรรค์ผลงาน/ส่งข้อมูลเก็บในคลังข้อมูลเสรีวิกิมีเดียคอมมอนส์ - เทวประภาส มากคล้าย - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2054333
  2. By Takeaway - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6670475


March 2018

Makha Bucha Day

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Makha Bucha Day (วันมาฆบูชา) is a Buddhist holiday, which takes place annually on the night of the full moon during the third lunar month of the year. “Makha” is the Pali word for the third Lunar month, while “bucha” means to honor or to venerate. Since Makha Bucha is based on the lunar calendar, the date varies from year to year. This year Makha Bucha day is on 01 March 2018.

It was 9 full months after the Buddha got the Enlightenment, on the full moon day of 6th lunar month, 45 years before the Buddhist era. On the full moon day of the 3rd lunar month, Makha, of the year, four special events happened:
1. There were 1,250 Sangha followers decided to come back to see Lord Buddha at Weluwan Wannaram without prior appointment after traveling around and teaching Buddhism.
2. All of them were “อรหันต์ Arhantas’, the Enlightened One, and all of them were ordained by the Buddha himself.
3. Because it was the first assembly of the large group of the Buddhist monk gathering therefore the Buddha gave those Arhantas the three principles of the Buddhism, called “The Ovadhapatimokha” which is considered the first constitution for all the laws of Buddhist monks from then until now.
4. It was the full moon day.

Three Principles:
The 3 cores principles (the Ovadhapatimokha) are;
1. Refrain from commiting all kind of wickeness (ไม่ทำความชั่ว)
2. Be good and do good (ทำความดีทั้งทางกาย วาจา และใจ)
3. Purify the mind (ทำจิตใจให้บริสุทธิ์)

Activities To Be Observed:

  • ทำบุญ/ tam-bun/’: Making merit by going to temples for special observances, making merit, listening to Dhamma preaching, giving some donations and the other activities of the day include acts of merit such as freeing fish and birds .
  • รับศีล /ráp sĕen/’: Keeping the Five Precepts*, including abstinence from alcoholic drinks and all kinds of immoral acts, including listening to teachings of Buddhism and the practice of meditation (nâng sà-maa-tí นั่งสมาธิ)
  • ตักบาตร /dtàk bàat/’: Offering food to the monks and novices (in the alm bowl (บาตร /bàat/).
  • เวียนเทียน /wain tain/: Monks and other believers of the Buddhist philosophy hold candlelit processions with monks who also hold a sacred thread in a procession around the temple.Buddhists from across the cities throughout the country flock to temples to participate in these processions.


Reference

February 2018

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, holiday (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.

Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was martyred about 270 ce by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, healed from blindness. Other accounts hold that it was St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop, for whom the holiday was named, though it is possible the two saints were actually one person. Another common legend states that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. It is for this reason that his feast day is associated with love.

Formal messages, or valentines, appeared in the 1500s, and by the late 1700s commercially printed cards were being used. The first commercial valentines in the United States were printed in the mid-1800s. Valentines commonly depict Cupid, the Roman god of love, along with hearts, traditionally the seat of emotion. Because it was thought that the avian mating season begins in mid-February, birds also became a symbol of the day. Traditional gifts include candy and flowers, particularly red roses, a symbol of beauty and love.

References

January 2018

Top 10 List On Catalogue Issues in 2017


Rank Item Count of checkouts
1 Casarett and Doull's toxicology 18
2 Fundamentals of biostatistics 17
3 CU-TEP reading 7
4 พิษวิทยาสิ่งแวดล้อม 6
5 CU-TEP listening with MP3 CD 6
6 Spectrometric identification of organic compounds 6
7 Molecular cell biology 5
8 CU-TEP grammar 5
9 Barron's practice exercises for the TOEFL test of English as a foreign language 4
10 The art of writing reasonable organic reaction mechanisms 4