Friday, December 25, 2015

Harvest Season Ceremonies

Even while our three week long harvest was in progress, there were Buddhist ceremonies to attend. These included Boon Katin, the Chedi Posts ceremony, and Loy Kratung.

Boon Katin – I’ve already written about. In some ways, it is celebrated to an even greater degree than Ohpensa. It is the traditional time to give monks new fabric for robes, cushions and personal care items. Equally important, it is a time when monks from different wats visit each other. So, many temples’ Boon Katin falls on a different day.

The Chedi Posts Ceremony was like a bigger, grander version of the posts ceremony we had at Bann Nah, in summer of 2014. Blessings on the building of the structure were made, along with donations – monetary and symbolic. We gave a modest donation of baht and spread dirt from our two homes and farms onto the chedi pad. A little bit of sand and gravel from Bann Nah, along with brass “paper” with our names and those of all our immediate family members here and in the USA, were mixed in with the concrete of the center post.

Loy Kratung (Loi Krathong) is celebrated on the night of November’s full moon. People influenced by Tai Culture launch floating baskets on rivers, canals or ponds, making wishes in the process. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.

This year, Thip and I were the first to float our lighted, incense-burning banana leaf boats along the surface of the chedi pool, between Bann Nah and the chedi site. I believe we are the first ones ever to do so, as the pool was too new, last year. Sawt, Nui and Thip’s neighbor friend Mai shortly followed suit. It was beautiful out there under the full moon, reflected in the chedi pool!

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