I know everyone wants to see our visit to the Crocodile Farm over the weekend, but the photos from that are on several phones and I need to get them all in one place. But! Yesterday I went to go visit the Pig Shrine, in Thai อนุสาวรีย์ หมู, which is pronounced Ànúsǎawárii Mǔu if you need to talk about this with a Thai who does not know the English words for “monument” and “pig,” respectively. We are not afraid to be helpful here! Here’s what the pig shrine looks like:
And here’s a closer view of the main pig, who’s been canopied, garlanded, and gilded:
This is what the sign tells you about the Pig Shrine – this is in all capitals, but I’ve spared you that particular idiosyncrasy:
The memorial was built in the year 1913, the year of Her Majesty the Queen Sri Phatcharinthra’s 50 birthday anniversary. It has another name as Sahachat Memorial, literally means the memorial of those who were born in the same year, which were Prince Narissara Nuwattiwong, Phraya Phipat Kosa (Celestino Xavier) and Phraya Ratcha Songkhram (Kon Hongsakun). All of the three had joinly built the memorial as a gesture of gratitude to the Queen. The memorial was made of metal cast in the pig sculpture, meaning Year of the Pig which was the Queen’s year of birth, as well as the 3 donors. The designer of the memorial was Prince Narissara Nuwattiwong.
The queen in question was one of the wives of Rama V, who was the mother of Ramas VI and VII. The Snake Farm is named after her. Prince Naritsara, the designer of the monument, was Rama V’s brother and important in Thai arts and crafts.
The pig shrine is fairly popular! It is not an unfair generalization to say that Thais do love pigs, though mostly for eating. Here are a few secondary pigs:
The pig shrine is on the western side of Rattanakosin, the royal island in the center of Bangkok. It’s across a canal from the Ministry of the Interior and the Department of Provincial Administration; though there aren’t any more protests around here, there are still barricades on the bridges across the canal:
Okay, more soon.