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.
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.
In due course, the procession started to arrive. We could hear them before we could see them.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, excitement mounted among the waiting throngs.
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,
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.