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Ordination

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

Several young men can become monks during the same ceremony. In a village, two or three candidates often organize a common ordination ceremony in order to reduce the expenses. Invitations (บอกบุญ - "BOOK BUN") for ordination ceremony are sent to relatives and neighbourhood. They are coming to help for the ceremony preparation as it brings also good deed.

monk ordination
In the early morning of the ordination ceremony, the family invites monks and offer them a meal.
Giving alms

The ceremony last two to three days. The first day is called (วันสุกดิบ - "WAN SUK DIP"). People prepare dishes and desserts.

In the morning, the three candidates, chest bared, sit and hold a bowl. Then the guests and family member cut three locks of each candidate.
monk ordination
Head shaving
monk ordination
The three candidates wear white clothes. It is a symbol of purity. Guests are enjoying the meal and pictures are shot with the three candidates. It is a great moment for a Thai mum to see her children becoming monks. Moment of joy and proud.
White clothes

In the north of Thailand, the candidates are covered with gold, jewels and are called "LOOK KAEW" (ลูกแก้ว).

During the afternoon, a last layman ceromony happens. An old wise man say auspicious sentences for the three candidates.
monk ordination
Ordination

Then the three young men turn around the "BOT" (โบสถ์ - the finest building where monks are assembled for rites) three times and then enter inside.

monk ordination
The candidates answer to questions asked by the priest ("UPACHANA" - อุปัชฌาย์) who officiates at the ordination ceremony.
Wear monk clothes

Some questions are "Do you have debts ?", "Do you have mother and father permission to become a monk ?", "Are you a male human being ?". The last question came from Buddhist legends when a "PHAJANAK" (พยานาค) or snake disguises 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" (นาค).

The three new monks have learnt how to wear the monk clothes and are back in the main chapel to listen to the abbot last recommendations.
monk ordination
Answering abbot questions
monk ordination
The three candidates are now monks. They can be monks for a few days, a few months, a few years or all the life. Who knows? It is a personal decision.
Three fresh new monks



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