Thursday, 8 December 2011

Thai Tham Boon - December 2011

Back in November I told you all that the reason for our impending holiday is to visit my Mum’s village for a tham boon.  You were all probably wondering what a tham boon is, right?  Well, even if you weren't you are going to find out now.

Tham boon means to ‘make merit’.  Making merit is an intrinsic part of Thai culture and Thai Buddhism.  The act of making merit can take many forms – giving alms to monks, taking offerings to the temple to marking milestones in a person’s life.

The tham boon that my family is hosting in Thailand relates to the blessing of a cho fah which has recently been built.  The cho fah will house a bronze statue of a monk who was very close to my mum when she was a young girl. 

The cho fah be dedicated to my grandparents on both sides of the family, and other relatives who are no longer with us.  My brother and sister-in-law will also have their marriage blessed.

The exterior of the cho fah
The interior the cho fah.

Tham boons are normally pretty big affairs, this one will go for three days and involves amongst other things: chanting and blessings by the monks, Buddhist thammat and Morlam.

a traditional north eastern Thai opera, a morlam involves many performers, ornate costumes and saccharin sweet stories.  It’s hugely popular!  Possibly one of the reasons why people from across the local region, to Bangkok and even further afield are coming along, not to mention all of the farang (foreigners)!

When I was last in Thailand we went for a tham boon and it was an epic affair - the perfect example of Thai hospitality...

Here are a couple of photos from our last visit to Thailand and the tham boon in Mum's village:
The drummer in a tradition Thai orchestra

Two young monks visiting the tham boon

A Thai-style xylophone, also in the orchestra

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