Ok Phansa - Tod Kathin Festival - 2015 - Sri Dornchai - Chiang Khong.

DavidFL

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14 November 2015

Following on - coinciding with the Lue Lai Kham Museum grand opening on 13 November 2015

Chiang Khong - Khamu New Year - The Tai Lue Lai Kham museum - a CK meander

was the annual Kathin ceremony at Wat Sri Dornchai just south of Chiang Khong.

The festival is an old one & conducted at many temples around the North after the rainy season.

The rough idea being to present new robes to the monks. Cotton is picked, carded & woven non stop over night to present fresh robes at the temple the next day.

Some of the festival are extremely elaborate & involve donations of millions of baht to the temple.

Festivals In The Top North For Ok Phansa. October 2012.

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Wat Sri Lom Yen - Chiang Khong - Kathin festival 2012

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Wat Sri Lom Yen - Chiang Khong - Kathin festival 2012

Some historical info:
KATHIN AS THE WOODEN FRAME
The wooden frame as the pattern for making the yellow robes could be called an embroidery hoop during the Buddha’s time. In fact, it was very difficult to make the yellow robes in accordance with the special form designed by Lord Buddha. So, a specific wooden frame had to be prepared in order to make the yellow robes that are called Trijeevara for the Kathin Presentation Ceremony.
Actually the Trijeevara consists of three yellow robes; Antaravasaka, for wearing, Jeevara, for covering the body down from the shoulders and Sangghati, for superimposing as folded on Jeevara. In the Thai language the three yellow robes are popularly called Sabong, Jeevorn and Sangghati respectively. Hence, the Trijeevara was made with the wooden frame on which the cloth was placed, cut, sewn, dyed, dried and finished in the same day.

Definitely, such an urgent work required a good co-operation of all the participants. Practically, after the work has been finished, the wooden frame is kept to be used again in the next Kathin festival. The operation to dismantle the wooden frame is called ‘Kathin Dauh’ or ‘Dauh Kathin’

KATHIN AS YELLOW ROBES TO BE PRESENTED
Kathin at this point refers to a merit making tradition in which the yellow robes and other things have to be presented to monks within one month only namely, from the 1st day of the waning moon in the 11th month to the 15th day of waxing moon in the 12th month.
The yellow robes to be presented have to be new ones or almost new, but washed and cleaned. Old or discarded pieces of cloth or pieces of cloth left in dust or at shops can be picked up and made into Kathin robes as well.
The Kathin robes can be presented by householders, monks and novices. The Kathin robes have to be presented to a group of at least four monks (Sangha).

KATHIN AS THE NAME OF RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY, MERIT MAKING
The Kathin robes have to be presented to monks who have completed their stay for three months at one temple during the rainy season. The idea was to encourage monks to observe the rule and to let them have new robes to substitute the worn-out ones.
The merit making by means of Kathin robes presentation or ‘Thod Kathin’ in Thai is to offer the yellow robes by uttering words of presentation in Pali amidst the Sangha and is regarded as “the Kaladan” as it can be performed within the specific time limit of one month only.
The yellow robes presented to monks before or after this period are not Kathin and hence, merit-making in the form of Kathin Robes Presentation is rather difficult.

The Wat Sri Dornchai festival in 2015

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Wat Sri Dornchai - Chiang Khong

There's a fair ground set up in the temple compound

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Lue people are dressed up in costume

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Free food is available for everyone

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Some belles of the night

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more to come
 
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DavidFL

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The cotton picking show gets under the way

There is a sizeable crowd seated for the event

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The celestial maidens arrive to pick the cotton

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Cotton is ceremoniously picked

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Then presented to the guardians

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It is officially collected

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Then presented for all to see

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more coming
 

DavidFL

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Once the cotton has been picked it's off to the "cotton weaving shed."

Located off to the side is a massive sala

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set up for the cotton to be processed - carded, spun & woven.

There are scores of women

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in Tai Lue costume lined up to work all night until they have woven new robes for the monks

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next presenting the robes
 

DavidFL

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Tut tut, something I never finished off, apologies

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The next day a small parade to present the new robes to the temple /monks.

The villagers all march in traditional Tai Lue costumes
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a local farang joins in
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entering the temple compound with the robes
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Tod kathin ceremonies take place all over the North at the end of the rainy season - October is the month. More often at full moon, or there abouts.
For me Tai Lue ones are the most colourful.
Nan is a good place to see them.
Chiang Khong is is good.
For a bit more info they have featured on GTR here
Festivals in The Top North for Ok Phansa.October 2012.
 

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Moto-Rex

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Beautiful photos David, you certainly have the knack of finding these great festivals.

Moto-Rex