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Temple consecration

An inauguration ceremony called "FANG LUUK NIMIT" (ฝังลูกนิมิต) is done to consecrate a temple. Some sacred marker spheres "LUUK NIMIT" (ลูกนิมิต) need to be buried in the temple compound.

The "SIMA" around the temple compound are called big boundary stones ("SIMA JAI" - สีมาใหญ่). The "SIMA" around the "UBOSOT" are called small boundary stones ("SIMA LEK" - สีมาเล็ก).
Buddha statues
Buddha statues

The main Buddhist religious ceremonies (daily prayers, ordination of new monks) are held in the main shrine hall called "UBOSOT" (อุโบสถ). The consecration of an "UBOSOT" involves burying nine boundary stones. Then there is a custom of placing boundary stones ("SIMA" - สีมา) over the spheres.

Lion guarding the main chapel
Before the inauguration ceremony, a feast happens in the temple and can last one week or nine days.
Lion guarding the main chapel

When a Buddhist ceremony happens in a Thai temple all the monks must be in the area limited by the boundary stones. That's why for big temples with many monks, the boundary stones are around the "UBOSOT" (visitor monks don't have to participate to ceremonies) and for smaller temples the bounding stones are around the temple compound.

Temples in the Central Plains are richer. When the main chapel ("UBOSOT" - อุโบสถ) is old, it is easier and faster to build a new one instead of restoring the old one.
Main chapel
Main chapel
Gate to Buddhist temple
In Thailand's Central Plains region, the temple festivals often happen during end of January or beginning of February and match with Chinese New year.
Gate to Buddhist temple

People working in Bangkok come back to spend this holiday in their family. Of course, Saturday and Sunday are the days when the Buddhist temple can expect the highest donations.

For Isan temples, such fairs are often during New Year period as workers come back for holidays in their family during this period.
Chinese shrine inside Wat Don Kanak
Chinese shrine inside Wat Don Kanak
Chinese shrine
Some Buddhist Thai temples can include various buildings and shrines such as Chinese shrine, Mae Takhian shrine (ศาลเจ้าแม่ตะเคียน) and various deities statues (Phra Rahu - พระราหู, Vishnu - วิษณุ).
Chinese shrine
A "LUUK NIMIT" (ลูกนิมิต) or sacred marker sphere is buried at the inauguration ceremony.
Temple doors
Temple doors

Nine stone spheres demarcate the sacred space around the "UBOSOT", i.e. one at the centre, four at the corners and four at the cardinal points.

Temple deity
Thai people are never out of money regarding donations to Buddhist temples. As reminder from Buddhist abbot, there is no need to have too many things (several houses etc...) as you cannot bring them when you pass away!
Temple deity

A lot of advertisement is done the previous weeks and months. Big advertisements can be seen promoting the temple fairs.

Huge billboards are displayed in the area to advertise the forthcoming temple consecration. It includes the place, date and the program timetable.
billboard
Billboard
Monks blessing
During the whole day and night, monks give blessing to the numerous visitors.
Monks blessing
Prayers are said by reading the scripts written on the wall panels. Hands palms are joined and people sit down.
Prayers
Prayers
Lying in a coffin
นอนโลงให้โชค or "NON LONG HAI CHOK" means sleeping in a coffin to get chance. This ritual has become increasingly popular in the last few years. It involves participants lying in coffins while monks perform death rites on them as if they already passed away.
Lying in a coffin

Participants believe they are reborn after the ritual (ตายแล้วเกิดใหม่) with all their bad deeds buried behind them. This ritual is also supposed to extend the life span.

During popular festivals, many temporary mobile shops open to cater for business and provide foos / drinks.
Ancient Coffee
Ancient Coffee
Elephant blessing
Walking under an elephant belly is supposed to bring luck.
Elephant blessing
Money donation and bank notes are attached on a string. Then they are dispatched to the top of the "UBOSOT".
Money donation
Money donation
Boundary stones blessing
People entering the "UBOSOT" compound receive orchid flowers, joss sticks, nine gold sheets (one to be stuck inside the building, 8 outside), lotus flower with a 20 Baht note, sacred white thread and a paper with holy sentences to be read inside the "UBOSOT". Visitors start by the boundary stone inside the building then turn right and do the other eight boundary stones one by one.
Boundary stones blessing

Shoes have to be removed before entering the "UBOSOT" (อุโบสถ), finest building inside the temple compound.

People turn around the main chapel building and stick gold sheets on each boundary stone. They also place one Baht coin on the top of each stone.
Boundary stones blessing
Boundary stones blessing

Thai people cover the sacred marker spheres with thin gold leaves. This behavior is called "PIT THONG" (ปิดทอง).

Boundary stones blessing
Coaches from neighbouring provinces are bringing many visitors. They are coming to pay their respect to Buddha and are helping for the "UBOSOT" construction and embellishment. The money is used to repay the debts of the temple. The money has been borrowed to build the new "UBOSOT".
Boundary stones blessing

Temples and monks activate their network contacts in order to have visitors from other provinces coming to pay respect to the Buddha and participating to the festival (ฝังลูกนิมิต) and so making donations.

It is common for temples in Thailand to surround the main chapel ("UBOSOT" - อุโบสถ) with small boundary stones ("SIMA LEK" - สีมาเล็ก), marking the territory where monks may hold religious rituals.
Temple architecture
Temple architecture

Wat Ratchapradit in Bangkok placed small boundary stones on the temple walls, allowing the monks to hold religious rituals at any place in the temple compound.

Inside the main chapel
People flock in the main chapel to stick gold leaves on Buddha statues or sacred marker spheres ("LUUK NIMIT" - ลูกนิมิต).
Inside the main chapel
During the afternoon, the music concert setup is starting. It will take a few hours to build the stage. The performers are sleeping in the transportation bus.
Music concert setup
Music concert setup
Children game
Few children are playing during afternoon time due to hot weather. At evening time, they will flock.
Children game
In every temple fair, there is always a shop selling pictures of the Royal Thai family.
Shop selling pictures
Shop selling pictures


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