Thai Throwback Thursday: Thai Temple

image

I was at a Thai temple in Thailand when this photo was taken and about three-years-old, so circa 1985. I think it was the Grand Palace in Bangkok and my uncle wanted me to pose for a picture but I was afraid to be up off the ground. Those are his hands just in shot! Growing up with a Thai mother and relatives has meant that I have always been to temples and to many Buddhist ceremonies. Songkarn (Thai New Year), Loi Krathong (a festival that celebrates light, it involves making decorations which can float on the river) and Wan Dek (Children’s Day) are probably my most enjoyable as a child.

TBT4

I am pictured here in the Uposotha Hall at the Thai Temple in Wimbledon. I wouldn’t say I was particularly religious but I like the idea of a higher power who looks after me, my family and friends. As I mentioned in my post about Chinese New Year, our family and friends believe that if you ask the monk in this hall for a wish, as long as it is reasonable, i.e. you don’t ask to win the lottery or to live forever, that it is usually fulfilled. I asked the monk for Andy to get a new job closer to home as his commute is currently an hour per journey. Guess what? He has been offered a new job which is 30 minutes from home! One of the suggested offerings for the monk if your wish comes true is 99 hard boiled eggs. It sounds very bizarre but apparently those are the terms!

Let me know if you like my Throwback Thursdays or if you have asked for a wish and it has come true.

My Chinese New Year in London

I spent Chinese New Year with my mum, her brother and my daughter in London. We went to the Thai Temple in Wimbledon, to pray for prosperity and good health in 2014 and to offer food and flowers to Buddha and the monks.

Thai Offering

At the temple, there are trays with the everyday essentials, such as yellow robes for the monks, tea bags, coffee granules, rice, toothpaste, soap and medicine for visitors to give as an offering. We give a donation, take a tray and pass it to the monk after a prayer. My mum also brought a few things for our loved ones who have passed away, Pain Au Raisin, fresh milk, oranges and grapes for my dad and grandparents as these are a few of their favourite things 🙂

Lighting Incense

Afterwards, we prayed to a very well respected monk outside the Uposotha Hall. Our family and friends all say that he always fulfils their wishes, well within reason of course! My mum and I lit a candle, nine sticks of incense and we gave thanks for our blessings, prayed for family and friends who are no longer with us and asked for 2014 to be a happy and healthy year.

We walked around the grounds so that Annabelle could explore and stretch her legs and passed this area for outdoor meditation.

Meditation

In Chinese tradition, children receive a red envelope with money to bring good luck for the New Year. My daughter received hers at the temple. Hopefully this will bring twice as much luck!

Chinese Red Envelope

I hope the Year of the Horse brings you good luck too!

Bx