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06 March 2010


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I apologize for the headless men in the second picture. It's something I need to be much more aware of when I'm composing the shot. I do the same with people's feet, too, but perhaps that doesn't matter so much.


Lawrence, you certainly have somewhat different traditions in your neck of the woods.

The photos are fine and portray the story perfectly.

Made me laugh though because when we were kids Mum always cropped our heads if the old man let her use the B&W camera. So much for childhood memories!


Lawrence another interesting insight into Thai and Lao traditions. The man retrieving the image of Phra Uppakrut from the water is a strange one.

..... 'another small rite was performed at the staue of Phra Uppakrut after circling him three times in a clockwise direction'.....

I attended a cremation in Wilai's village over Christmas and before climbing the steps to place a token in the coffin a large group of mourners circled the cremation shrine (don't know proper name) I guess three times. They circled it anti-clockwise.

Do you know why they circle the shrines and statues in this way and what is the significance in what direction they take?

Nice post and good photos.


Martyn, thanks for your comment. Quoting you, "flattery will get you everywhere."

In Buddhist rituals most things are done/said 3 times. This is usually (and probably always) to remind us of the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) also known as the Three Refuges.

Death rites use several 'reversals' of usual practice. eg the body is laid out with head towards the west, which in life most Thais would avoid. The body leaves the house not through the usual door (it may have to be symbolically altered if there is only one door)and as you noticed the circumambulation at the wat is done anti-clockwise. All other occasions it is done clockwise. Death and life are seen as opposed, not surprisingly.

Hope this clarifies things a bit for you. There are many more mysteries out there!


Mike, thanks for that. There are a couple more posts on Boun Pravet to come. I hope you will find those interesting too.

I will censor any photos that look as if your mum took them.

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