On the way to the Wat Phra That Phanom, we watch a fisherman fishing with its net in the canal.
A sales booth next to the street sells Mekong Whiskey. It is a local Thai whiskey made from rice. Presumably, it has its name of the color, which resembles the mud of the Mekong.
As we drive through Phra Klang Thung, we notice people gathering at Wat Lao Noi and the nearby Wat Borom Hansa . We learn that we are celebrating a temple festival. When our guide asked whether we want to see it, we agree to it.
Temple Festival Wat Lao Noi
A small procession forms up. At its head walks a group of people, carrying arboreal arrangements with banknotes at the branches. Then follows the normal population, and finally a group of dancers with their own orchestra. A loudspeaker car takes care that the people hear the music from far away. The people seem to be in splendid a mood and have fun.
The dancers are normal housewives who have trained for their performance at the temple festival.
The procession walks three times around the Wat Lao Noi before the crowds gather at Wat Borom Hansa. The monks sit in front of the Buddha statues on the front face of the building, facing the “money bushes” and the believers.
There follow small devotions and short speeches. Of course, we do not understand a word.
Our guide asks us to place some money on the bushes, which we then also do (because of the good karma: -))
As we set off again, I can not keep back a provocative statement to our guide. I remark that it was somehow not quite clear, whether the monks pray to Buddha or whether they have adored the “money bushes”. The consequence was a devastating look in my direction. But after some minutes silence, he feels obliged to give us an explanation.
There are different types of convents (Wats) in Thailand. Some are self-managed and others are administered by the municipality. These two small Wats are administered by the municipality and the money is used according to a joint decision. Unfortunately, we do not know what the money is used for.
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