“The Toong” , Thai Lanna long flag
“Toong”, the local word for calling the long flag made from different kind of material. They could made from color paper , colorful cloth or from cotton string for example.
Toong could be called ” Thoong” in Thai as well. However they are could have different meaning when you see them in the northern part of Thailand.
They could be the symbol as below:-
1) Greeting for someone very important such as the Royal family.
2)Invitation from the temple when they have the ceremony or the big celebration in the temples. The temples usaully put the toong ( long flag) alongside of the road on both side of the main entrance to invite the locals people to join in the celebration or ceremony.
3) For Songkran day to show grateful to the ancestors who passed away and might be in hell for them to climb up to the heaven. ( This is important ceremony that all the family do in the Thai new year ( Songkran day) mostly on 15th April every year). People could buy them from the market or they could make themselves and bring to the temple. After the Buddhist ceremony, they are going to put tehm on the sand pagodas in the temple area.
4.On the streets, mostly found at the shape curves with the accidents and many people die. Mainly for this case is usually long in red color.
Now a day, people use them for decorated in houses and places to be more colorful and lively. They come in different colors and sizes. On the Toong , usually have the details of the God , Goddess , animals such as elephant and peacock . You could find them in the local market in Chiang Mai like Waroroj market as well.