Buddhist pilgrims from all over Thailand were in Saraburi, 100 miles north of Bangkok, on Wednesday (26 February) to participate in the festival at the Phra Buddha Baht -- the Shrine of the Holy Footprint.
GV EXTERIOR Shrine of the Holy Foot-print
SV&CUS Man and woman buying bell-sticks (3 shots)
GV Street with shrine in distance
SV Street vendor selling flowers
MCU Girl praying holding flowers
GV Pilgrims milling at base of shrine
GV Pilgrims beating bells with sticks
GVS Queue of pilgrims striking bells (2 shots)
GV Street musicians (2 shots)
SV Woman with joss sticks and praying
SVS Pilgrims attaching gold foil and money to statues of Buddha (3 shots)
SV Ornate gold carvings PULL BACK TO GV EXTERIOR Shrine
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Background: Buddhist pilgrims from all over Thailand were in Saraburi, 100 miles north of Bangkok, on Wednesday (26 February) to participate in the festival at the Phra Buddha Baht -- the Shrine of the Holy Footprint.
Wednesday -- the 15th day of the new Lunar year -- was the highlight of three days of devotions at the Shrine because it coincided with a full moon.
During the festival days the pilgrims worship a large footprint, believed to have been made by Buddha himself. They also walk around the shrine striking 75 bells which have been hung up outside, and attach gifts to the statue of Buddha.
Some of the faithful circle the shrine, striking as many bells, as their ages for good luck.
While the festival is going on, stalls are set up outside the Shrine where merchants sell a variety of items - in particular bamboo sticks for striking the bells.
The Shrine of the Holy Footprint was established in the 16th century, but was rebuilt in the late 18th century after the original structure was ravaged by fire.
The footprint -- only one of two recognised true relics of Buddha -- is said to have been discovered by a hunter.
Legend has it that he saw a wounded deer recover after drinking from a spring that flowed from a huge footprint in a rock. The discovery confirmed Buddhist Testament that there was a footprint of Buddha in the area.