This year we will test the waters with arranging one of the ceremonial sides of Buddhism….
Monday 15th April
Ceremonial Water Pouring
at Ariyasom Villa
Many of you have been around in Thailand for some time and have seen and appreciated the rich Thai culture and its many festivities. Traditionally such public gathering and ceremony has been conducted at the local temples, which serve also as community centers, in a riot of colour and loud speakers.
We will hold our own water festival (Songkran) event this year – at the beautiful Ariyasom Villa Hotel in Bangkok in the morning 10-1:00 pm
Until 1940 Songkran marked the official New Year of the Thai calendar, and was celebrated, sanuk style, with chucking water over each other. Fortunately – you are not allowed to throw water over monks (though some of us won’t venture out just in case). But we do have a tame and civilised equivalent, where you pour the water over the monks hands. (I found out the hard way this is not adhered to in Chiang Mai!).
While the water throwing is what grabs your attention, this time of the year is also used to pay respect to elders, parents, grandparents, teachers and even neighbours. The monks especially keep this aspect of the tradition alive, and usually go travelling to meet with their Uppajaya (the monk who gave them ordination) to pay respects.
There will be two or three monks, waiting to be fed.
Please bring small food offerings – only things ready to eat (not uncooked rice etc..). After the offering to monks the food will be shared between everyone.
- 10am Water pouring on the monks and Buddha image
- 10:30 Auspicious Chanting
- 11:00 Food offering
- 11:45 Blessing
- 12:00 lunch for everyone (all the food offering will be put together for you to join in and share
- 1:00 Short Dhamma Talk, and meditation, with Pandit Bhikkhu.
- 2:00 finish
As always, there is no charge for this event, and all are welcome.
The subject for reflection will be The Dhamma (dharma) – after the Buddha became enlightened, he wondered who there might be in the world to pay respect to, since everyone should have someone as a focus of their respect. He decided it was the Dhamma to which he should pay respect.
Leading proceedings is Pandit Bhikkhu – one of Thailand’s few active Buddhist Monks, living in Bangkok. Proceedings will be in English.What is the Dhamma? How does it work?
Regulars in Bangkok will be familiar with Ariyasom Villa by now – it is an 8 minute walk from Phloen Cit BTS Station, at the end of Sukhumvit Soi One. You can take a motorcycle along the soi, but might be better to walk this time …