In Thailand .... the annual Buddhist, Phra Pathom Chedi Fair, has again attracted thousands of?
In Thailand .... the annual Buddhist, Phra Pathom Chedi Fair, has again attracted thousands of devotees.
The three days event, held at the Buddhist pagoda in Nakom Pathom, 65 kilometres west of Bangkok, is a time for mixing pleasure with prayer.
SYNOPSIS: The Nakom Pathom temple is the oldest and largest pagoda in Thailand. Buddhists use the occasion to pay homage, and contribute funds for the temple authorities to use in the upkeep of the pagoda. The monies will also be use for a sponsored charity project. (SEQ 1-4)
Contributions are made by dropping coins into each of the 108 Bahts or iron bowls, on display outside the pagoda. (SEQ 5)
But religious observance isn't the only feature attraction at this fair. Everything from cars and motorcycles to Buddhist antiquities can be seen on display. Many businessmen use the fair for promoting sales. A share of their earnings will be donated to the temple authorities. (SEQ 6-7)
The fair is also a special day for children, Parents use the occasion to buy them a selection of new toys and gaily decorated dolls. (SEQ 8)
The high-mark of the three days is to pay homage to Buddha. Expensive gold leaves are purchased by followers to stick on the Buddha image. (SEQ 9-10)
A prayer and an offering of lotus flowers and incense, symbolise close communion with Buddha and his ideals. Nearly 90% of Thailands forty-four million people are followers of Buddhism.
A visit to the fair is usually ended with the purchase as a souvenir of Kaolam, a special rice dish which is stuffed and sealed inside a bamboo casing. (SEQ 11-12)