บวชพระ or "BUAT PHRA" means to become a monk. บวชนาค or "BUAT NAK" means to prepare one-self to ordination.

monk ordination
On the ordination day the head is shaved. This is a renouncement to the beauty. Also the eyebrows are shaved. Every member of the family cut a lock. Then a monk shave the whole head.
To shave head

Ordination is an important part of life in thai society. A boy that becomes a monk for a few months is making a really good action towards his parents. A boy is not a man until he hasn't been a monk a period of time. Before this period was three months. Now it can only weeks or days. Some families still refuse to marry their daughter if the future husband hasn't been a monk for a short period of time. It means that he isn't ripe enough.

Often the mother offers the white robe to her son. It is a great moment for a Thai mum to see her child becoming a monk. Moment of joy and proud.
monk ordination
White robe offering

Ordination happens when the boy is 20 years old. Parents having three boys often believe that they won't go to hell if their three boys become monks.

monk ordination
On the following day the monk candidate is dressed with a white robe. One of his close friend shall carry him on his shoulders and then go to the temple.
Walking around the temple

It is a tradition for the monk candidate to turn to his relatives and scatter coins, symbolising his rejection of worldly goods.

The layman entered the "BOT" (โบสถ์ - the finest building where monks are assembled for rites) and answered to questions asked by the abbot of the temple. For example "are you an human being ?". This question came from Buddhist legends when a "PHAJANAK" (พยานาค) or snake disguise itself into a human being in order to become a monk. Buddha discovered the trickery. The "PHAJANAK" was not allowed to become a monk but since this time all candidates to monkshood are called "NAK".
monk ordination

Sometimes the candidate is so nervous that he forgets the answers he must say to the abbot. Then this one whispers the answers in order to help him.

monk ordination
Then the new monk learns how to wear the monk clothes. Learning to wear the monk robe is not easy at all, there is a special way to get. dressed. It shall be a perfect fit because monks do not wear underclothes.
Wear monk clothes
The young man is now a monk. He could be a monk for one day, one week, one month, three months during the rain retreat, a year or his whole life. Who knows?

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