Tortoise Cake Offering Rituals in Talad Noi, Bangkok and Bangneaw, Phuket


  • Seubpong Changboonchu


Tortoise Cakes, Talad Noi, Bangneaw, Hokkien


Hokkien shrines that were built over 100 years ago in Talad Noi, Bangkok and Bangneaw, Phuket are highly revered, especially by the local people of these communities. Every year these two shrines prepare specially-made tortoise cakes as offerings during important festivals, as Hokkiens have long believed that a tortoise is an auspicious animal symbolizing longevity, fortune and wealth, while possessing power to protect people from harm. However, the tortoise cakes made by these two communities are significantly different from the more common Hokkien-style red tortoise cakes seen elsewhere. The Talad Noi cakes are white in color and made from wheat flour, similar to Chinese steamed buns. Talad Noi locals make these primarily as ritual offerings during the Lantern Festival. Bangneaw’s tortoise cakes, on the other hand, are red in color, made of glutinous rice flour, and are mainly prepared as ritual offerings during the Ghost Festival. Both tortoise cake offering rituals reflect the cultural assimilation and continuity in these two communities as their respective beliefs and customs are passed on from generation to generation. However, interestingly, while some of these beliefs and customs have been perfectly preserved in their original forms, others have assimilated to the changing local cultures and social environments.

Author Biography

Seubpong Changboonchu

Lecturer, Chinese Section, Department of Eastern Languages, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University


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How to Cite

Changboonchu, S. (2023). Tortoise Cake Offering Rituals in Talad Noi, Bangkok and Bangneaw, Phuket. Journal of Thai Studies, 15(2), 84–111. Retrieved from



Research article