There are a multitude of different holidays and festivals around the world that one could arguably say have something of the macabre about them – celebrations that focus on the subjects of death and the afterlife. Yet rather than being grim and frightening, these festivities are more often than not joyous celebrations focused on remembrance.
While Halloween may be the most well-known of these celebrations, it is far from being the only one. In Mexico, November 2 marks the lively and vibrant Dia de Muertos, the “Day of the Dead”. In traditional Chinese culture, the 15th day of the seventh lunar month – taking place on August 15 this year – is the Yu Lan or “Hungry Ghost Festival”, where people burn faux money and leave out food offerings for their ancestors.
For Thailand, however, the tradition of remembering the dead is most vividly displayed during the Phi Ta Khon (“Ghost Festival”), an annual event taking place this July in the San Sai district of the country’s northern Loei province that celebrates not only spirits but also “Maha Wetsandon Chadok”, stories of the former incarnations of Buddha. The festival sees parades of people wearing ghost masks and costumes made from colourful fabrics and old mosquito nets, swords made from coconut and other soft woods, and bells hung around their waists that ring with each movement.
It is with these vibrant and colourful designs in mind that Tuk Tuk Bangkok Watch has found the inspiration for one of its most striking timepieces, the eponymously named “Phi Ta Khon” watch. Bearing the likeness of two of the festival’s iconic grinning ghost masks on the face, the watch comes in an equally striking array of strap colours, from mango yellow and floral orange to pea eggplant green.
The Phi Ta Khon Festival is just one of a multitude of traditional Thai customs, festivities and ways of living that form the heart of Tuk Tuk Bangkok Watch’s timepiece designs. Its Rattanakosin Ritual Tuk Tuk watch, for instance, channels the city’s heritage with a young boy riding a bright blue tuk tuk vehicle past the Grand Palace with Ravana, a character from the Hindu epic Ramayana, seated in the back. Ravana also makes appearances in the brand’s other timepieces, such as its Shadow Play watch, which depicts local Nang Talung (shadow puppet) art performances from the south of Thailand.
A watch is never simply a timepiece – it’s a reflection of the person who wears it. Bring a small piece of Thailand with you wherever you go.
Tuk Tuk Bangkok Watch
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Hotel
LL-05, Lower Lobby
Opening hours: 10am-8pm