Whilst I was Singapore for a few days, meeting various suppliers, (and possible customers in some cases), depleting the earth's supply of tuna fish and renewing my business visa for Thailand, Ploy was back at the temple we found at Khao Yai for a celebration they were having.
The celebrations were for the head monk's birthday, the man that created the amazing temple, and they lasted for three days. Ploy had dropped me off at the airport early on the Monday, drove home, packed a bag and some bed clothes, threw Pinky in the back of the car, and drove to the temple. She stayed overnight on the first night but poor Pinky was stuck in the car all the time with music and flashing lights all night long, and when Ploy did let her out she ran excitedly around the entire temple before decided one of the chicks looked like a good new toy, and before Ploy could save it, and before Pinky thought the white pheasant's chick would make an even better toy, she drove home to sleep there for the second night before driving back again, sans Pinky, for the final day.
Night time there was traditional Thai dancing, eating, talking and almost certainly, more eating. These two girls looked like they did their fair share.
Small armies of people, such as those below, provide the food for free as an act of 'tamboon' or making merit.
The monk's birthday proper starts with him leaving the temple with petals being spread before him. It is traditional for people (non-monks) to wear white, as it is for novice monks..
The monk walks around the temple grounds accompanied by his followers.
They stop by one of the hundreds of statues in the grounds. Monks from other temples have come from near and far to join in the celebrations and as it is the summer school holidays still some young boys are there to learn and meditate, sent there by their parents.
A group pf people from the Chang Mai region have bought the monk a present, (hence the red ribbon around it), of a kiln so that he can make his own small bronze statues, (various necklaces, bracelets, amulets and other artifacts are sold by the temple). Here he says thanks and blesses the kiln.
Everyone then meets up at another building for the celebrations. A monk from another temple ties a piece of string (sai sin) around the wrist of the monk as protection and good luck. There are also eggs offered which are a symbol of birth.
This monk was a student of the birthday monk and has since gone to form his own temple. Here he leads the chanting and the birthday wishes.
No birthday is complete without a cake.
Ploy and new found friend pose for the cameras.
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