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Unlikely to be shaded, Phuket's umbrella fella on parade today

Phuket Unfurls a Cheeky Challenger: Photo Special

Monday, October 11, 2010
Umbrella Fella Photo Album Above

THE BEACH umbrella man leads the pack so far in Phuket's Vegetarian Festival piercing stakes, having made his claim to fame in the Sam Kong procession this morning.

Sure, there were other entranced warriors with conventional umbrellas, a large fern branch, a petrol pump gun, and an assortment of swords and spikes through their cheeks.

But everyone who saw the beach umbrella agreed: now that's what we call an umbrella, fella. When last seen, he was marching towards Phuket City, with a little help from a friend to keep the brolly stable.

Fortunately there was no gale wind this morning as the first big procession of Phuket's procesion season got underway. The parade actually seemed smaller than in previous years, taking just 20 minutes to move down Yaowarat Road towards central Phuket Town.

Expat and Thai photographers turned out to snap the warriors at the temple and in the procession.

Tuesday brings several more parades - the first really busy day on the roads for the famous Phuket festival - and the beach umbrella man can probably anticipate some serious challengers.

Crowds grew as today's procession moved south, thronging downtown Phuket Town streets. Some were intrigued by the ''magic water'' being spurted from an iconic turtle.

Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation Chief Executive Paiboon Upatising joined in the festivities. He and other digintaries, including Phuket Police Coomander Paiboon Upatising, later took part in ceremonies at Chalong temple, south of Phuket City.

Phuket Processions

TUESDAY'S Vegetarian Festival parades make for delays on roads around Phuket City, with processions from the Ban Tha Rue Shrine, the Jang Ong Shrine, the Tae Gun Tae Shrine and the Choot Su Gong Naka Shrine from about 7am.
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