Last Saturday we had a small traditional ceremony during which seven local monks came to bless our house.
Many of the village elders came the day before to help with the preparations, when they were invited to the ceremony they decided to make sure that all was done according to the local traditions.
As is the case on this type of occasion, people come together to help, it’s a way to spend time together happily, eat together, talk and relax while working. For us it was a chance to chat to people that we don’t see often and to meet people we did not know before. Apart from the ceremony preparations, there was a lot of cooking being done, both on Friday afternoon and in the early morning of Saturday.
On the day the monks came at about 9, our upstairs room was decked out with traditional decorations and the monks sat down, gave the five precepts and then chanted from the buddhist texts. They ate lunch at around 11, received dana from the guests and then left.
After that we all ate and talked, a few friends of ours came from Chiang Mai for the day to help with the cooking, serving and cleaning. When everyone was fed, the men set up the karaoke machine and a somewhat more mundane ritual followed.