Have Thailand’s Buddhists suddenly become disciples of an obscure Irish bishop remembered each year with binge drinking?
On Wednesday, City Hall will mark Ireland’s National Day, aka St. Patrick’s Day, by illuminating Wat Arun, aka the Temple of Dawn, in emerald green, a plan which has stirred up both confusion and amusement.
Responses to the announcement ranged from “The most stupid idea I’ve ever heard,” and customary complaints of “inappropriate” to widespread doubt it will actually look nice.
That’s a bunch of bah humbuggery, according to Thailand’s tourism prodigies.
“The move means to publicise Thailand’s positive image to the world, in addition to foreign embassies and communities based in Bangkok and pave the way for future sustainable development in the Thai capital,” the tourism authority said in announcing the plan.
So it either has something to do with Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day or environmental sustainability, though it’s unclear how green lights will “pave” the way to anything other than an ironic choice of verbs.
Those questions notwithstanding, the iconic riverside temple will be bathed in green light for three hours starting at 7pm along with other sites such as the Thailand Cultural Centre, Conrad Hotel and Irish Embassy on Wireless Road.
Outside Thailand, other participating landmarks include the Leaning tower of Pisa, Niagara Falls, London Eye, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, Gwrych Castle in Wales, The Palm Fountain in Dubai and Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier in California.
No one is quite sure how Ireland’s national tourism authority convinced other nations to join the campaign when it began in 2010 with several attractions including the Sydney Opera House and Empire State Building in New York. Maybe another form of green?
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