Ordination in Angtong

Today we visited Angtong province to the north of Bangkok for the ordination of one of our cousins – his father is brother of my father-in-law. As is traditional in Thailand for any activity, we left early.

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Angtong is about two hours’ drive north of us so, of course, by the time we arrived, everyone had been suffering from hunger for some time. Below, madam and a cousin enjoy a bowl of noodles.

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In due course, the procession started to arrive. We could hear them before we could see them.

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The dancers danced energetically and looked like they were having a good time. They were accompanied by this mobile band – handcart with portable generator, loudspeakers, keyboard, bass, drums and voice.

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Following the band came the second part of the procession, featuring the truck carrying the young man himself, his parents and other VIPS. They were preceded by a lone dancer, who set the pace for the trucks.

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Meanwhile, excitement mounted among the waiting throngs.

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Finally, the young man himself arrived to join in the procession around the wat – led by the band and dancers. We went three times around clockwise. Unfortunately, every time I tried to take his photo, someone managed to walk past or stand in the way so this is the best I can do. His father is leading the way and mother, in blue, hidden behind various objects, is second,

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After the procession, the prospective monk distributed gifts to the crowd and then was hoisted over the threshold into the wat; there was a ceremony after which he was considered to have taken the robe. Subsequently, he was one of a group of monks who returned to the house for a chanting and merit-making ceremony and then it was time for lunch (monks eat first – they must finish before noon) and that was more or less that.

It is Summer in Thailand now: when we got into the car after the lunch session, the thermometer showed 43 degrees. It is still 35 now with the sun finally going down.

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