Family and friends began gathering the day before this auspicious date. The music started quietly at first but with the giant speakers waiting to be fully utilized, the sound was quickly turned up. This was not a quiet event but a 2 day chance to party!
Dishes, utensils, pots and pans were all brought in from the nearby temple and a number of village elders showed up to help chop, dice, slice and prepare a huge feast. The music carried on loudly well into the late hours of the night.
Up at 6am the next day – the continued food preparation started early in anticipation of the monks arriving at 10am. They arrived 3 minutes early, their golden robes easily visible, 9 monks all sitting in the backseat of a pickup truck.
The interior of the house was already prepped for them – 9 thin cushions on a floor mat spanning the length of one of the main room walls. And each ‘station’ was prepped with a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of Chang water.
They entered the house promptly at 10am, all sat down. Then villagers, friends and family entered and sat across from them, kneeling on the hard teak wood. All the monks held a white string and began chanting – this lasted for quite some time – broken by a break for lunch. Bowls of delicious looking Thai food were brought in – all ate and then one monk walked outside and began writing symbols using a paste above the main entrance door.
Following lunch, chanting began again and one monk rose to sprinkle water above the head of everyone present as well as throw water around the main room.