|Dave in Thailand
Wien Tien, July 31 2004 (actually Asalha Puja Day)
|Wien Tien is one of many beautiful Thai festivals - actually "Wien Tien" simply means (roughly!) "walking around ("wien") the Wat (temple) with a candle ("tien")", and is the ceremony attached to the festival, moreso than the festival, which is itself to give honor to Buddhism, and is an opportunity to "make merit" - do good things to attract good karma for yourself. There are three times throughout the year a "Wien Tien" is performed, all important Buddhist holy days. There's some links at the end if you want to find out more. On with the pics - not as good as they could be - the digital cam is great for some things, but to get the full effect of this holiday you'd need a real camera, and a crane or tall building nearby or something, to get the full moon over the wat, the hundreds of people and candles bobbing around the wat, sandpiles with hundreds of burning candles and bundles of incense and flowers in them here and there, milling people, monks, good atmosphere - you know. But this is a start.|
|The first necessity for Wien Tien - the flowers and incense and candles. I like the Lotus blossoms, but Marigolds are commonly used as well, and others. There are many flower sellers waiting to provide you with what you need - for about forty cents Cdn. And a smile, as always.|
|You're spending 10 minutes or more walking with green vegetation and burning candles and incense - you need to arrange them a bit so the candle doesn't burn everything up.|
|After you do your three times around the Wat, you set your flowers and candles and incense in one of the sandpiles .....|
|... and get a blessing from a monk ....|
|... then spend some time wandering around the Wat grounds, making merit in various ways, such as giving money to some of the beggars, or donating to the wat bowls ....|
|... or buying some tiles for the new wat roof ....|
|... or some birds to release from their cages ....|
|And there are always food sellers for a snack before you leave - here we have sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf and grilled over hot coals - delicious!|
I hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to a beautiful Thai festival. I hope to be doing a few more pages like this soon.
Here are a few more places to visit for a bit more info - you can find out lots more, of course, to your own liking with Google.