Traditional ordination ceremonials to take place in Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son municipality will hold the 2009 Poy Song Lang (Summer
Ordination) Festival between March 31 and April 3 this year at Jongkham
Royal Temple and Jong Klang Temple. As 80% of Mae Hong Son residents are
Thai Yai, one of the aims of the festival will be to revive the traditions
of Thai Yai local culture.
The festival will begin with Rab Sang Long day; the following day, Kham Kaek
day, is for welcoming guests. The third day of the festival, Kho Lhu, will
feature a parade and include the ceremony to celebrate parents’ love and
kindness with chanting (Hong Kwan Nak). On April 3, Kham Sang, the
ordinations (Wan Lhu) will take place.
Parents who wish their sons to participate in this traditional ordination
are asked to provide documentation, a donation to the temple, and to arrange
for their sons to attend stipulated training courses totalling at least 25
days before becoming novice monks. It is traditional in Thailand that males
should take monk’s robes for at least three months of their lives, and is
considered to be a great honour for their parents if they do so. In this
troubled day and age, it may be reassuring to note that a great many young
men still conform to this tradition.