Tuesday 1 January 2008

New Year's Day

One of the things I really love about Thailand is how they start the new year. Every year masses of people gather to give offerings to monks and receive a blessing for a new year. Last year we went to the morning service at the local temple but it's at 6 o'clock in the morning and it was a rainy dark morning today so who in their right mind can drag themselves out of bed at that hour! We went to the much more reasonable gathering at 8 o'clock. These pics show the crowd listening to the monk's speech about right actions and right thoughts for the new year and everyone lining up to give them food offerings. There were also a couple of Mae She (nuns) there too.

Being the sometime cynic that I am, I sometimes do wonder about the amounts of cash handed out at these digs. It's phenomenal.. Thai monks have to be the richest people in the land. I know that a lot of mula is spent on building new temples but they get serious money in donations. Pretty much everyone this morning gave a hundred baht and some food. You can't rock up and not donate anything. Every single event that monks attend they get wads of cash. I understand that monks forsake all worldly goods but do they ever give any cash to charities? I seriously would like to know. Probably a bit of a controversial topic but one I shall look into!

Anyhoo, it really is a beautiful way to start the new year by being blessed and listening to the sombre sounds of the monks chanting. Lots of smiles on lots of faces is a treasure to see.

2 commentaramas:

Carol said...

Happy New Year hon!! I've just spent ages reading through your posts - sounds like you had a blast!

(I've been having internet connection problems AGAIN *sigh* but it appears all is well (am touching wood....well my head....but it's as good as :-D) so am about to update my blog.)

C x

Mel said...

Happy New Year Carol! Nice to see you back. Great ol' Thai internet strikes again!