Monday 26 November 2007

A donation to the local Temple

Sometimes during a Buddhist Holiday, people donate a large amount of money to the local Temple.

This year's Loy Kratong saw such a donation being made by a local women from Plai Laem to Wat Plai Laem.

At Wat Plai Laem I saw all these 'money trees' lined up. The money on the trees are gifts by 'normal' people, like you and me, or my wife. In general people give anywhere from 20 to 100 Baht but also donations of 500 and 1.000,-Baht are no exception. The money is attached to the tree and that's it.

The money that is attached to the money trees is given to the local Temple, to buy bricks, paint, wood, you name it, so a new part of the Temple can be either build or completed.

In this picture, the money trees are all loaded on to cars and driven over to the Big Buddha part of the Temple, where there will be a ceremony, not only the money trees will be handed over to the monks, but.........

..........also the gifts these people are carrying. This local family is donating 100.000,-Baht to the Temple. This is a relatively common happening at various Temples over the island, I assume that a lot of local Samui people make or made good money on land sales and donate part of that money to the local Temple. During my 8 years here, I heard of a few of such happenings, mostly when relatives where involved but so far I never witnessed such an occasion.

The 'anonymous' money trees and the big 'spenders' have arrived at the Big Buddha part of the Temple and the money (100.000,-Baht) is placed in front of the monks. The people who donate the money get to sit with the Puu Yaai Baan (Headman of the village) in font of the Monks during the ceremony in special chairs.

There are lots of people following the 'spenders' and there's music and dancing going on, on the way to the Temple. Once arrived at the Temple, all the money is put in front of the Monks and a ceremony is held, where everybody attending is seated in front of the monks, on the floor.

An interesting Thai tradition. Next time you see a new part of the Temple being build, you can silently wonder who donated part of that money.


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