Marking a century-old tradition, Hua Hin’s revered ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ merit making ceremony is slated to return on September 24 at the Chao Mae Tubtim Shrine.
The event, deeply rooted in the town’s maritime culture, offers both local fishermen and visiting enthusiasts a chance to partake in an event that not only celebrates the town’s fishing heritage but also invokes blessings for the forthcoming fishing season.
Believers gather with hopes that the merit-making will safeguard the local fishing fleet and their crews, ensuring both safety at sea and a bountiful harvest. Central to the event is the tradition of Nong Chuk and Nong Kae stucco dolls — 2,500 brightly colored figurines that participants can acquire through a small donation. Upon receiving the doll, individuals inscribe their names on it.
In a ceremony symbolizing the release of misfortunes, these dolls, representing the participants and their loved ones, are then carefully placed inside paper boats.
The boats, filled with the hopes and prayers of the community, are then secured on a larger vessel, which is ceremoniously towed out to the open sea. The boat is then sunk, providing a new habitat for marine life and embodying the community’s wishes to dispel misfortunes, sorrows, and dangers into the abyss.
The day’s events commence at 9:00 a.m. with the central merit-making ceremony at the Chao Mae Tubtim Shrine – the Chinese shrine located close to the Hilton Hotel.
At noon, the release of the boats carrying the symbolic dolls into the sea offers a spectacle that bridges the past with the present, tradition with community.
Residents and visitors are cordially invited to participate in this time-honored ceremony, upholding a tradition that has been the cornerstone of the Hua Hin fishing community for over a hundred years.
Note: The street procession will no longer take place, with the ceremony now starting at the Chao Mae Tubtim Shrine .