Candles to a Village Wat

A Mini-Post

 

With the start of Buddhist Lent happening tomorrow there are lots of small celebrations happening over the next few days. This was one we joined unplanned as it passed our home.

One of the pleasures of living in a village is that I have the opportunity to join in wit whatever the locals are doing in the cycle of festivals over the course of a year. This morning we heard music in the street and walked out to find a group of our moo ban school kids, teachers and some villagers off to deliver candles to our wat.

The sight that greeted us as we walked out of our front gate.

A smart turnout as always is the case with school children here.

Gaun making a donation to a money tree that will be given to the monks at our wat. Jyust out of interest this is the highest of the three wais (hands in front of face). Finger tips to chin, finger tips to nose and this one for people of high status or anything to do with Buddism.

Isan people are SO good with their intake of water. Every event like this has free cold water available for anyone participating.

Two of the small candles that will be presented to the wat later. I find that in a photo like this there will always be one or two people who will directly connect with the camera, in this case the girl holding the candle and another girl behind her.

The procession gets underway again. I only include this photo because of the lady on the far left holding a green umbrella. This is Gaun’s old primary teacher, who has since retired but still helps out at the school.

Gaun tells me that ‘she (the teacher) bamboo me a lot’. Dear Gaun was not the best academic student and I think both she and her teachers were happy when she left school aged twelve  However, she was the teachers darling when it came to sports, running and volleyball where she was a star!

I admit I have an umbrella fetish. They are always part of these street processions and add such vivid colours to the scene.

All stop for a photo moment as the procession enters the wat. I arrived late to take a photo and the people had started walking again but everyone stopped so I could take my shot! It’s no wonder I am a fan of Isan people.

This is the new almost finished main Buddha hall for our village. This is the first time it has been used for a celebration. Everyone walks three times clockwise around the outside before entering (three times anti-clockwise in the case of a funeral!)

A neighbour wanted her photo taken in front of the new Buddha hall. Always happy to oblige.

See. Another eye to the camera photo.

The crowd passes the ubosot, the monk ordination hall. So colourful.

The main candle being unloaded to place inside the hall. Candles are a central part of the start of Buddhist Lent – see below.

Not too sure about this farang with camera thing.

Borrowed words from another site state:

‘Many people visit temples across Thailand to offer large candles to monks. Thai people do this for one of two reasons, the first being that monks once used candles to study after dark. The second reason is that people believed that offering a candle would, in return, make their own future a bright one of strength and longevity’.

You will find a useful background to Buddhist Lent HERE

Everyone heads inside for the ceremony itself including feeding the monks of course, which is standard at these events as you saw if you read my Isan Game of Thrones post.

Once again the procession stopped so I could take this photo!

Our village monks. The one with dark glasses speaks excellent English and I must have a chat with him to find out his background.

The abbot

Plain but I like that. The floor were laid by a guy called Chung (builder) Noy, who also made my pebblecrete driveway. One of life’s nicest blokes.

This is the Buddha hall when Noy was working to lay the floor.

And Chung Noy himself. 

School kids mixed in with villagers. Schools will be closing for a Buddhist Lent five/six day holiday this week.

The monks getting ready for a blessing and food. The head of this moo ban in the yellow shirt.

It is only appropriate that the last photo of the day is of food being prepared. 

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment because it gives me something to read in exchange.

Tony

2 Comments

  1. Jim Busby

    Another wonderful insight into village ceremonies. Wonderful photos with the kids. I’m glad Gaun came away unscathed without a bamboo wack! What the H*#$ll is an umbrella fetish? Sounds pretty kinky to me, but I am turned on by the Peanuts character one. I assume it was in an earlier post, but what is the name of this Wat? I see a similar star pattern in the wat as in your garage at home. I cooked some spicy Thai Red Curry with Coconut milk stir fry tonight. Think I might wash it down with Sauvignon Blanc, and some Lum music.

    P.S. I feel a lot better looking at Gaun on a step stool cooking, over straddling a tall ladder to trim the hedges!

    Best wishes,
    Jim

    Reply
    • Tony in Thailand

      Thank you Jim. Gaun’s mama used to be open to the bamboo too, and that’s when Gaun’s running ability came in useful! Do you think I should have kept my fetish in the closet where umbrellas are supposed to be 🙂

      Our village wat is called Wat Thung Sawang Khongkha and on Google Maps you will find it HERE If you zoom in on the temple and then look straight up two blocks you will see a bright white roof surrounded by greenery. Guess where that is. The wat is pretty village standard and not well maintained. It sits in large grounds and often there is only one or two monks in residence, so I do understand. This new building has been under construction every since we moved here. All through local donations, which as there’s only a couple hundred houses here is quite an achievement.

      You certainly pick up on the details Jim. Yes, we have a version of that start in the driveway, which Chung Noy offered to do for us at no extra cost.

      What a great combination of aspects to your evening. Red curry and coconut milk (Thai), Sav Blanc (farang) and lum (Isan). The best of all worlds.

      Cheers.

      Tony

      Reply

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