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SPIRIT MEDIUM

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Spirit Medium ritual
Spirit Medium ritual
On the evening of the second day, the most important event happens, i.e. the gathering of around 20 or more spirit mediums.

Such parasols (ฉัตร7ชั้น) are made of seven layers of flowers.

Music orchestra
Music orchestra
An orchestra with Indian mystical music is present. The main singer uses mysterious loud paroles.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Many spirit mediums are invited as guests. They do sit in the first row.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Banknotes donations are inserted in the numerous mouths of the "PHAYANAK" (พยานาค). Most of them are 1000 Baht banknotes!

Banknotes are put as garlands and feature value of 20, 100, 500 or 1000 baht.

Music orchestra
Music orchestra
Before starting to play music, a few prayers are performed by the orchestra members.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Most of the spirit mediums guest are female and are wearing Indian clothes. Most of them are middle age women.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Before sitting, each spirit medium comes to the medium altar to pay their respect (ไหว้เทวดา).
Spirit Mediums
Spirit Mediums
Some possessed spirit mediums then start to perform some dancing in front of the "PHAYANAK" effigy.

Most of the male spirit mediums are smoking.

Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Huge flowers garlands are covering the "PHAYANAK" effigy. The spirit medium guests pay their respect by adding additional flowers on the effigy.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Believers or disciples (ลูกศิษย์) are coming to pay respect to the Spirit Medium host.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Most of the spirit mediums female guests are wearing Indian clothes.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Men are wearing old traditional clothes, clothes made of fur similar to an ascetic or hermit ("REUSI" - ฤาษี) outfit.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Having colorful Indian clothing and showing the tongue during possession identify those spirit mediums attached to Indian deities.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Spirit mediums are greeting each other. It seems to be a limited community so same spirit mediums often meet each other at different rituals.
Onlookers
Onlookers
A huge crowd is present today to assist to the mystical spirit mediums dances.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
This spirit Medium is wearing colorful Indian deities. The dynamic music is supposed to encourage mediums to enter into trance and to be possessed by spirits.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Some spirit mediums start to behave like children and are even asking for lollipops.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Spirit mediums are entering trance and then get possessed by a spirit (เชิญองค์).
Spirit Mediums
Spirit Mediums
Some spirit mediums are possessed by old spirits so behave like elderly people having difficulty to walk and using a walking stick.

Some spirit mediums being possessed by old spirits perform old habits such as chewing betel.

Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
One of the mystical dances performed by the spirit mediums is a dance with fire balls in the hand.
Spirit Mediums
Spirit Mediums
Being possessed, spirit mediums may react differently. Some are shouting loudly, some smoke, some shake hands (typical westerner behavior), some have repulsed eyes, some show their tongue like Indian deity called Kali...

Basically when possessed, spirit mediums forget society taboos and may behave inappropriately.

Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Some spirit mediums are wearing old Ayuthaya style clothes as they are possessed by former Kings.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Spirit mediums possessed by spirits then perform some dancing in front of the "PHAYANAK" altar.

This spirits dance is for the main spirit (ปู่) who is the event organiser.

Spirit Mediums
Spirit Mediums
This ritual lasts more than two hours until the spirit mediums leave one by one.

Some young women might wear a Kinaree (กินรี) clothing, i.e. an angel-like costume.

Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Some local spirit mediums can "feel" that many spirits (องค์) were around that day.

Some local people hope to get lottery numbers from the spirit host.

Spirit Mediums
Spirit Mediums
Some key spirit mediums have an helper to answer to their basic needs during the event.

The rain coming on this evening was seen as a holy event showing the spirits appreciation.

Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium
Some young ladies even faint. The event ends up with the host spirit medium wishing everybody to be rich and asking do a feast for next year!
Spirit Mediums
Spirit Mediums
Spirit mediums (ญาติเทพ) are greeting each other.

If a rich sponsor is involved, then the event may also features Likay or outdoor cinema.



Small votive offering ritual
Small votive offering ritual
Above ritual is a yearly event. Some more frequent events called (งานแก้บน) are also organized. Normally people ask favors from the spirits.

A woman having her period cannot go inside the building containing the sacred altar.

Small votive offering ritual
Small votive offering ritual
During the smaller scale events, only a few dances by the medium spirits are happening.

Thai Buddhism is impregnated by ghosts stories coming from Buddhist legends. But it is also impregnated by ghosts stories and beliefs coming from ancient religions (Hinduism, Brahmanism) present before Buddhism in Thailand.



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