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‘Cat people’ parade in Uttaradit in prayer for rains

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In a modified tradition, villagers in Uttaradit’s Laplae district paraded adults and children whose nickname means “cat” as they prayed for rains early on Tuesday.

In a long-held tradition, villagers in northeastern provinces normally parade a live cat to pray for the gods to deliver them rain. But apparently concerned that parading a caged cat under the scorching sun would be cruel, villagers in several areas have come up with their own cat-friendly version of the parading rite.

‘Cat people’ parade in Uttaradit in prayer for rains

Real cats were also splashed with water during traditional parades.
Villagers of Moo 3 village in Tambon Hua Dong came up with the idea of parading people, whose nicknames were Maew or “Cat”. The “cat people” had their face painted as tomcats or queens for the parade. Among them were twin girls dressed as kittens.
The parade began at 12.09am, an auspicious time, and was led by a local long-drum band.
When the procession of some 30 people passed the community, villagers splashed water on the “cats” who in turn meowed loudly. The splashing of water against the paraded “cats” signified that rains had fallen as was prayed for.
Serm Thanala-ong, president of the Moo 3 community, said the residents decided to organise the tradition because Laplae has been hit by drought, and the durian and southern lansat orchards were severely affected, with many fruit trees beginning to die.

Published : May 07, 2019

By : The Nation