Happy Royal Birthday HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn
HRH Crown Prince
Vajiralongkorn and his Royal Consort Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasm,
along with HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajanee get a close up look at some
remarkable crops being grown in the Royal Project.
(Photo courtesy Bureau of the Royal Household)
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was
born on July 28, 1952, in the Ambara Villa of the Royal Dusit Palace in
Bangkok. He is the second of four children, and is the only son of Their
Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Queen Sirikit.
The Crown Prince received His primary schooling at Udorn
Hall of the Dusit Palace and attended secondary school in Sussex and
Summerset, England. In August 1970, the Crown Prince attended the King’s
School, Paramatta, Sydney, Australia and in 1976, he received a Bachelor of
Arts Degree in Military Studies at the University of New South Wales. HRH
the Crown Prince also attended the Royal Thai Army Command and General Staff
College, graduating in 1978, and later received a Bachelor of Laws Degree
from Sukhothai Thammatirat University in Bangkok in 1987. In 1990, he
successfully attended the Royal College of Defense Studies in the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej conferred his son
with the title of “Somdech Phra Borama Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha
Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman” on December 28, 1972, making him the
Crown Prince and Heir to the throne.
HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn attended numerous
military training courses in Australia and the United States, with
observation tours in England, Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
A long list of military courses attended by the Crown Prince includes
helicopter and high performance aircraft flight training, special warfare
training, demolition training, parachute training, and courses in small arms
and other weapons used in modern warfare.
Some assignments include Commanding Officer of the King’s
Own Bodyguard Regiment and Command, Commanding General of the Royalty
Security Command, and Instructor Pilot of the F-5 E/F. Intermittently, he
engaged in actions for counter-insurgency purposes in the North and
Northeast areas of Thailand as well as for protective purposes in areas
around Cambodian refugee camps at Khao Lant, Trat Province.
The Crown Prince has continued the Royal Family’s
assistance programs to underdeveloped areas around the country and visited
depressed urban areas around Bangkok distributing food and necessity items
to people in need. Another impressive undertaking was his participation in a
fertilizer preparation project in Suphan Buri Province using natural
ingredients to enrich the land in support of the country’s great
agricultural pursuits. Farming is considered to be a highly significant and
noble profession in Thailand and the Royal Family takes an active role in
advancing the vital industry of agriculture.
HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and his Royal Consort Her
Royal Highness Princess Srirasm are the proud parents of HRH Prince
Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, born on April 29 at 6:35 p.m. at Sriraj Hospital in
Bangkok. It is the couple’s first child.
Most recently, in February 2010, HRH Crown Prince
Vajiralongkorn and his Royal Consort Her Royal Highness Princess Srirasm
personally donated one million baht to help quake-hit victims in the
Caribbean country of Haiti. The donation was made via the “Sai Yai Rak Haeng
Krob Krua (Family’s Bond of Love)” project under the royal patronage of HRH
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
In March 2010, HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn showed his
continued support of promoting Muay Thai as an Olympic sport when he granted
an audience to officials in charge of promoting Muay Thai, offering guidance
and encouraging them to continue their efforts.
Legends of mineral stone at Koh Larn
Metal or mineral; solid or liquid; black or blue: There’s
much debate as to what leklai, one of Koh Larn’s most-famous and
least-understood exports is. What isn’t debatable, at least for devout
Buddhist locals, is that the rock is magical.
63-year-old Ngam Wanchan shows off one of the areas on
Koh Larn where leklai can be found.
Found naturally throughout Thailand, “leklai” is one of
the most-prized alloys for crafting Buddhist amulets. The rarest form is the
all-black leklai jau-pha found in Issan. The greenish-blue lek lai larn
found on Pattaya’s offshore tourist resort is said to hold less mystic
power, but still treasured by locals who regard anything made of it as a
powerful talisman against evil.
Songkran “Bird” Modthong is a Sawang Boriboon Foundation
medic who grew up on Koh Larn and recently led a tour around the island’s
various lucky leklai locales. The irony that passengers on this good-luck
tour were chauffeured around in a hearse seemed lost on the 45-year-old
Uncle Ngam displays some of the souvenirs at the museum
First stop was Mai Samran Temple, home to a 5 m. pagoda
devoted to the shiny metal-cum-mineral. The 40-year-old structure features
three military and police officials composed of leklai. Worshiping these
figures is said to prevent the need for either on the island.
Next stop: Had Naul, a lonely beach at the foot of a
small hill where locals continue to dig out the metal despite a city ban on
doing so. The red-black bluff has a cavern about 800 m. wide and 10 m. deep.
Here, Songkran said, can be found the blackest and purest of the island’s
Whether it is actually a metal is up for debate. There’s
virtually no scientific data published on the composition of leklai. The
name itself literally translates to “metal eel”. It can melt at just the
temperature of a candle, leading most to assume it’s a mercurial alloy. But
the fact that there are 14 substances called “leklai” in Thailand - all of
which are different colors - leads most to believe that leklai is not one
substance, but the name for natural outgrowth of rocky formations with
similar physical attributes.
The fact it is easily pliable and, when shined, takes on
a high-gloss, made it long popular in Asia. Folklore has it that during
World War II the relative of a Thai marshal exported Koh Larn’s version to
Japan, claiming it could be used to construct a nuclear bomb. When the alloy
- removed from its natural climate - changed colors, the Japanese dumped it.
Such stories are now collected at the leklai museum, run
by 63-year-old Ngam Wanchan. Open for about a year, the showroom houses
about 1,000 leklai samples, some as heavy as 100 kg.
Another fable involves Koh Larn temple priests Chiew and
Bun and their dog Rang, who they often had to chase after. One day Bun threw
a piece of leklai at the dog and he ate it. Surprisingly, the dog was fine
and so the monks started mixing in small pieces of the metal into the dog’s
It didn’t help the dog’s disposition, however. The pooch
later bit a local child, requiring 100 stitches. The child’s angry father
shot the dog but, legend has it, the bullets didn’t piece the dog’s skin
thanks to its leklai diet. To this day, Koh Larn locals believe carrying
leklai will ward off dog bites.
Such rare and lucky rocks, of course, fetch a good price
outside of Koh Larn. Locals frown upon commercialization of the metal, with
“Kind Uncle Ngam” admitting he wishes ill-fortune on anyone selling his
leklai collection. He likes to recall how one hotel employee who did so died
a week later.
“Leklai is not for sale, but for worship,” Ngam said. Of
course he does sell souvenirs at the museum gift shop.
For those curious about Koh Larn’s lucky metal but who
don’t want to risk injury or arrest by scavenging for rocks - let alone
Uncle Ngam’s wrath - plenty of leklai amulets, some purportedly from Koh
Larn itself, are available on eBay and other online websites.
Put-out Kantamat locals want
homeless man evicted from bus stop
A local homeless man who took over a Khao Kantamat bus
stop is irritating locals who complain they have nowhere to take shelter
from rainy season storms and are scared the vagrant might be dangerous.
A homeless man has taken over a bus stop in Khao Kantamat,
and residents want officials to come and get him.
A residents’ group contacted the media this month about
the man who has converted the bus shelter at the entrance to Kantamat Temple
in Plutaluang, saying they needed to the shelter to stay dry. They believe
the homeless man is crazy and disease-ridden because both he and the bus
stop are now dirty.
His behavior certainly isn’t winning friends. Residents
say the man can be seen wandering Sattahip Market and Sukhumvit Road by day,
taking some food offerings from less-timid souls. He then retires to his new
home, but doesn’t wake up until noonish, inconveniencing bus-takers who have
to wait in the sun or rain to catch their ride.
Female students said they are particularly scared what
the man with wild hair might do and hope the city evicts the bum before he
does something actually worthy of headlines.
Rare stork in Open Zoo pilot project returns home
One of two rare storks released to breed in the wild by
the Khao Kheow Open Zoo was returned home after it was caught while dining
on fish at the Khao Maikaew Market.
The Woolly-necked Stork, a globally protected large water
bird that has all but disappeared from Thailand, was captured July 11 by
Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation rescuers in Sriracha. Market vendors
who noticed the bird had a plastic band on one leg, realized the bird wasn’t
This Woolly-necked Stork, found at Khao Maikaew Market,
was returned to Khao Kheow Open Zoo.
Rescuer Suchin Tangman said the stork had been spotted
flying with smaller birds over the market and then it swooped down to a
perch and dropped to the walk. Merchants gave it fish and the bird wasn’t
afraid of people, showing them it had been partly domesticated at one point.
The Woolly-necked Stork is a broad-winged soaring bird
with three sub-species scattered across Africa, Southeast Asia and India. It
is a large bird, typically 85 cm tall and is all black except for the woolly
white neck and white lower belly. The upperparts are glossed dark green, and
the breast and belly have a purple hue. The Asian sub-species, except for
birds found natively in Indonesia, has a head that is mostly white except
around the eyes.
Native to wetland areas, the stork usually feeds on
amphibians, reptiles and large insects, but obviously won’t pass up a free
fish dinner. The stork became protected in 1995 by the Agreement on the
Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds, which covers more
than 61 countries, but not Thailand.
Here the bird has been nearly wiped out by hunting and
destruction of its natural habitat. Veterinarian Jetsada Taewnern of the
Open Zoo said the facility has begun a pilot project to release some birds
into the wild in hopes of rebuilding its population. Zoo officials said they
knew the avians sometimes flew back into the community and were grateful to
have the stork returned safely.
Baywatch: There’s a hole in the road and no one is looking into it
In yet another example of city maintenance work
started only to be forgotten, this pile of sand, half-empty bags and two
holes in the ground have been tripping up pedestrians outside
Chaimongkol Temple on South Pattaya Road for a month.
The pile of sand dug out of the holes has slowly
eroded, turned into rivers of mud by the season’s torrential downpours.
Why city workers dug up the sidewalk, dumped their bags and then walked
off the job isn’t known. What is known is this kind of irresponsible,
half-hearted attempt at repairs only contributes to the perception no
one in government really cares how the public is inconvenienced.
City focuses on increased
The Consumer Protection Board meets with city officials to ensure public
facilities meet safety and legal standards.
The government will start issuing certifications to
Pattaya hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues to let patrons know if
they have met building and consumer-protection standards.
During a July 13 meeting with the head of inspections for
Thailand’s Consumer Protection Board, Pattaya City Hall Chief Wuttipol
Charoenphol reviewed building standards and consumer-protection issues and
discussed guidelines for inspections.
The Consumer Protection Board wants to ensure public
facilities meet safety and legal standards and will take action against
firms that fail its inspection. Those who pass will be issued a certificate
in Thai and English to certify they meet building codes and other
Short on green, Brit golfer
penalized for putter in pants
A British golfer looking to improve his short game now
faces a long-term problem after getting caught with a stolen putter in his
Christian Clarke was busted for trying to shoplift a Scotty Cameron
Christian Clarke, 34, was arrested July 11 inside Central
Festival Pattaya Beach after being detained by a security guard for trying
to leg it out of the Super Sports store with a 15,300 baht Scotty Cameron
putter shoved down his pants.
Officers based at the Pattaya Police Station only 10
meters from the mall said Clarke had entered the store enquiring about a new
putter. After finding out how much it cost, he pretended to look around the
story until trying to conceal the club, they said. Searching him, police
found only 2,000 baht on him.
Spain victory on motorbike
hits pedestrian, injuring 3
EMTs tend to Frenchman Kevin Claude after he ran over
a pedestrian and
crashed into the back of a car.
A Frenchman speeding through Pattaya on a motorbike to
celebrate Spain’s victory in the World Cup ran into a Russian man and
crashed into another vehicle injuring him and his Thai passenger.
Sawang Boriboon Foundation medics were called to Second
Road near Soi 12 around 5:30 a.m. July 12 where 41-year-old Norikor Lgor was
lying in the middle of the road in a pool of blood. Nearby were the
unconscious bodies of Kevin Claude, 22, and his 28-year-old companion,
Kaewta. All were taken to Pattaya Memorial Hospital.
None of the injured were able to make statements, but
witnesses said Claude - decked out in a Spain football jersey - was seen
speeding recklessly down Second Road and hitting Lgor as he crossed the
street. He then lost control of the motorbike and crashed into a car.
Millions in liquid ya ice
seized in Bangkok were
destined for Pattaya
The 67 million baht in liquefied crystal methamphetamine
seized during the arrest of an Iranian couple at Bangkok’s international
airport July 12 were bound for an agent in Pattaya, authorities said.
Javad Firoozi, 28, and Manizhen Azhdari, 30, were taken
into custody after a random baggage search at Suvarnabhumi International
Airport turned up 18.4 liters of liquid crystal meth in bottles concealed
inside a deflated raft. They told investigators, who had been tipped off to
their arrival, they were paid $1,500 each to deliver the drugs to a
distributor in Pattaya.
It was the second big crystal meth arrest at Suvarnabhumi
this month. In an unrelated case, another Iranian man was caught July 1
smuggling 900 grams of ya ice in his suitcase. He denied any knowledge of
how the 3 million baht in crystal meth got there.
All three were charged with illegal possession of Class 1
narcotics and trafficking drugs into the kingdom.
Investigators said the Iranian couple’s arrest was
significant as it was the first time authorities have seized ya ice in
liquid form in Thailand. Liquefying the drug is an increasingly common way
for smugglers to move methamphetamines. Less than a week before the Iranian
duo were caught in Bangkok, authorities in Indonesia arrested four Chinese
men who used 38 towels to soak up liquefied ya ice, which they then dried
and smuggled into Jakarta inside suitcases.
This month named the country with the highest numbers of
methamphetamine addicts, Thailand is a rich market for ya ice and ya ba drug
smugglers. Even though the drug loses some potency during the liquefaction
and drying process, the additional quantities that can be smuggled by
turning it into a liquid more than make up the loss for dealers, officials
Police come down hard on
seller of knockoff Viagra
Police seized more than a half-million baht in sexual
enhancement and bodybuilding drugs at a South Pattaya pharmacy.
Police seized more than a half-million baht in sexual
enhancement and bodybuilding drugs from Top Pharmacy.
Tipped off by a local clinic, Chonburi crime suppression
officers raided Top Pharmacy July 6, seizing 2,250 packets of impotency drug
Kamagra gel, 880 Kamagra tablets, 520 Caverta and 1,040 tablets of Intamax.
Ten types of muscle-enhancement hormones and steroids and 240 Ab-S X
fat-burning pills were also confiscated.
Officers also arrested shop owner Wicha Thipphawan, 44,
who had stored the unregistered drugs upstairs at his pharmacy. He was
charged with unauthorized sale of controlled medication and possession of
unregistered drugs. Police said the medications were smuggled into Thailand
Police used a Japanese man they had arrested for
illegally importing such drugs to buy drugs from the pharmacy, allowing
officers to obtain the search warrant they needed.
Col. Akaradet Phimonsri said the sweep came after
complaints from several Pattaya clinic operators about the sale of
unregistered and potentially dangerous sexual performance drugs. Improper
use can result in heart attacks and death and many of the purchasers were
elderly men who had not been cleared by doctors for such medication,
Russian pianist back to
Thai court on sex charge
Pattaya (AP) - A renowned Russian pianist and
conductor arrested on child sex charges returned to Thailand for a court
hearing Monday, honoring the terms of his controversial release on bail that
allowed him to leave the country.
Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev leaves
Pattaya provincial court on Monday, July 19. (Pattaya Mail photo)
Mikhail Pletnev, the conductor and founder of the Russian
National Orchestra, told reporters before his court appearance that
allegations he had raped a 14-year-old boy were “not true.”
“During the police search of my home, nothing connected
with the allegations - no photographs or other visual material - was found
on (my) computer,” he said, reading from a prepared statement.
Pletnev could face up to 20 years in jail and a fine of
up to 40,000 baht if found guilty.
After his arrest in Pattaya, the provincial court granted
him permission to leave the country to perform at a festival in Macedonia,
after posting bail of about $9,000.
Anti-pedophile activists, doubting he would return, had
criticized the action as too lenient for someone accused of a serious crime.
“(Since my return) I hope everyone now accepts that I am
a man of honor and that I am a man of my word,” said Pletnev.
Internationally known as a pianist, conductor and
composer, Pletnev won a 2005 Grammy for an arrangement of Prokofiev’s
“Cinderella” which was recorded with him and Martha Argerich on piano.
He owns a restaurant and the Euro Club - which includes a
swimming pool and badminton courts - in Pattaya, where he reportedly lives
in a palatial compound.
Activists still believe there is a strong case against
“It’s up to the police now to collate all the evidence
and call the witnesses,” said Supagon Noja of the Child Protection and
Development Center, a non-governmental organization.
Mikhall Pletnev reads from prepared
Mikhall Pletnev read from the following prepared
statement following his appearance in the Pattaya District Court on Monday,
“I have today appeared as instructed at the Pattaya
District Court. In order to be here, I returned to Thailand from Europe.
I once again express my thanks to the Court for
permitting me to leave Thailand 12 days ago to conduct at the opening
concert of the 50th Ohrid Festival in Macedonia.
I have been asked to appear again before the court in
another 12 days. I wish to make it clear that I shall be here for that
appointment. As publicized in the news media throughout the world, some
people in authority and others expressed their views that I would never
return to Thailand. I hope everyone now accepts that I am a man of honor and
that I am a man of my word.
I have always stated that I will assist the police in
every way I can with their enquiries into the allegations that have been
made against me. I say again these allegations are not true. I also state,
contrary to media reports, that during the police search of my home nothing
connected with the allegations - no photographs or other visual material -
was found in the computer.
I also wish to address some mistakes and rumors that have
been written about me over the last two weeks.
Firstly, at a press conference prior the concert at the
Ohrid Festival, some media wrote that I claimed the allegations against me
were “not important”. This phrase was taken completely out of context. That
conference was to announce the opening of the 50th Ohrid Festival, a major
occasion in Macedonia. One reporter asked one question about Thailand. I
stated we were in Ohrid to celebrate the opening of the festival. What was
happening in Thailand was not so important that day in Ohrid, where it was
more important that the media focus on the concert and the beautiful music
we were to be performing. I have never regarded this case as being anything
but very serious.
Secondly, my residence in Thailand is not full-time. I
return to Thailand and my house here only when I have sufficient time
available in my busy concert schedule. In the last 10 years, I have managed
to make just a few visits to Thailand each year, with each visit being
usually between 1 and 3 weeks.
Thirdly, I do not - and have never - run any form of
music school in Thailand. Given the very short periods I am in Thailand, I
frankly do not understand how this could be possible.
Lastly, it has been suggested that I arranged for some
Thai instrumentalists to visit Russia for study with me. This is false. When
I performed a concerto and a recital in Bangkok in August 2004 in honor of
her Majesty the Queen’s 72nd Birthday, I had the great pleasure of meeting
her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana. The Princess honored me by
inviting me for a discussion about how she could further assist the
development of talented young Thai musicians through a fund she had
established for this purpose. She hoped it might be possible for one or more
to study at the Moscow Conservatoire. She asked if I would audition some
musicians, which I subsequently did. I then informed Her Royal Highness that
none of the students were at that time close to the very high standard
demanded for entry. That remains the only occasion when I have had any
discussions with anyone regarding Thai musicians studying in the Moscow
In conclusion, I ask that there is no further speculation
on this case until the police investigations have been completed and the
case considered by the Court.
19 July 2010”
Bar hostess shot in leg by
A pair of young motorcyclists are believed responsible
for a 42-year-old hostess being shot in the leg at a Soi 8 beer bar.
Police were called to Classic Bar near the corner of
Second Road around 1:30 a.m. July 6. Sangwan Sirimat, the bar’s owner, said
the victim had already been taken to Pattaya Memorial Hospital.
Investigators found Kaesorn Rattanamaneekul being
prepared for surgery to remove the bullet from her leg.
Sangwan told police she’d been sitting in front of the
bar with her staff when a pair of young men rode by on motorbikes. She then
heard two loud bangs and Kaesorn, who had been playing pool, cried out in
pain. Tourists in the bar scattered at the gun shots.
The bar owner said she didn’t know for sure where the
shots came from, but police assume the youths fired the gun, either to cause
trouble or accidentally. They were last seen riding toward Soi Buakaow.
Buddhist Lent begins next week
July 26 & 27
Devout Buddhists make merit during last year’s ceremonies.
This year, the Buddhist holy days of Asalaha Bucha
and Khao Pansaa fall on July 26 and 27. Both are recognized public
holidays, and therefore banks and most businesses will be closed. It is also
against the rules to sell alcoholic beverages during the beginning of
Buddhist Lent. Many activities are planned throughout the city, especially
at our temples, and everyone is invited to take part.
Asalaha Bucha Day (July
The Buddhist Holy Day of Asalaha Bucha falls on the 15th
night (15 kham) of the full moon during the eighth month of the Buddhist
Lunar calendar, this year equating to Monday, July 26. “Asalaha Bucha” means
paying homage and worshiping on the day identified according to the lunar
calendar during the eighth month, Ahsala being the name of the eighth month
in the Pali language.
Asalaha Bucha Day is worshipped because of three
important events occurring on the day. Called the “Triple Gem” (the Buddha,
Dharma and Sangha), these commemorate the first sermon given by the Buddha,
called the “Dharmachakapavattama Sutta” concerning the “Four Noble Truths”
presented to the Buddha’s first five disciples. The sermon set in motion the
“Wheel of Dharma”, which is the meaning of “Dharmachaka”.
The sermon concluded that: 1. All things are a source of
suffering from the constant cycle of birth, disease, old age and death. 2.
Desire or the inability to obtain what one desires is the cause of suffering
resulting from cause and effect. 3. Freedom from suffering can be obtained
after the complete cessation of desire. 4. The last of the Four Noble Truths
is the “Middle Way”, or the path between extremes of asceticism and
indulgence leading to the eliminating of desire. The Eight-Fold Path
consists of possessing the correct: Views, Resolve, Speech, Conduct,
Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Meditation (or Concentration).
Secondly, the day is considered to be the birth of
Buddhism, as the Buddha departed the location where he obtained his
enlightenment two months earlier and then, coming to a forest area in the
city of Pharansi, he showed favour to five ascetics who became his
The third of the Triple Gems is the Sangha. On this same
day, the first person listened to the Buddha’s sermon, realising the truths
contained therein and becoming the first Buddhist monk. This created the
Buddhist order “Sangha” and the day is known as “Sangha Day” as well as
Ahsala Bucha Day.
The Thai government established the observance of Asalaha
Bucha Day in 1958. Buddhist temples throughout the Kingdom arrange
ceremonies venerating these important historic events. Devout Buddhists
participate in the ceremonies by presenting offerings to monks, listening to
sermons and performing ritual prayers.
The entire day is revered and certain precepts are
adhered to by the more devout Buddhist, and by those who have the
inclination and opportunity to do so. The Wien Thien ritual ceremony is
performed in the evening as many go to nearby temples bringing candles,
flowers and joss sticks, completing three trips walking around the temple
area sacred grounds.
The day following the start of Buddhist Lent (Asalaha
Bucha Day) another important Buddhist holy day begins in Thailand with the
custom called Khao Pansaa. This day falls on the first full moon (1 kham) of
the Buddhist lunar calendar during the eighth month of every year, which
this year equates to Tuesday, July 27, and ends on the 15th full moon (15
kham) of the 11th month of the Buddhist calendar, usually in mid-October.
During a leap ear it is identified during the second eighth month.
The term “Khao Pansaa” can also translate to entering the
months of the rainy season when monks return to the temple for the duration
of the rains, usually to the temple where they were ordained. They stay
there for approximately three months. The monks are not supposed to depart
the temple, or stay overnight at any other location during the months of
rain. Although the rainy season is considered to be longer than three
months, lasting up to four or even more, monks are only required to remain
at the temples for three months. During the last period of the rainy season
they can then go elsewhere when the Katin ceremony is performed,
whereby new robes are presented to the monks at the temples.
Initially, monks were discouraged from travelling during
the rainy season because of the idea that it was inappropriate to walk about
during the rainy season when many small living creatures were about, which
could be accidentally stepped on. This included the rice crops. Inclement
weather also made it difficult to get out and about. Therefore, it was
established long ago that the monks would remain in temples during the rains
for three months, discussing and studying Buddhist scriptures, following
Buddhist disciplines, meditating and performing ritual ceremonies.
The custom of Khao Pansaa has continued to this day with
three classes of ceremonies, a Royal ceremony conducted by the King of
Thailand, ritual ceremonies for devout followers of Buddhism throughout the
Kingdom and ceremonies performed by monks in the temples.
The Royal ceremony is similar to the ceremony performed
by the general public, but more elaborate. HM the King and members of the
Royal Family perform ritual ceremonies to pay homage to Buddhism, and
present Khao Pansaa candles and traditional garments to Buddhist monks. The
Royal Family also donates many other items used in these ceremonies.
Other followers of Buddhism all over Thailand will attend
temples in the morning, bringing food, necessity items, money, the
traditional candles, garments and ceremonial items for the monks, with
flowers and candles in hand.
For those people having devout faith they may refrain
from the recognised eight offences for the duration of the three month rainy
season just as monks do, while others may give up a single vice, with yet
others recognising the 5-8 offences for the day.
The ceremonies performed by monks in temples revolve
around rituals accepting new monks, who take vows for periods up to the
three months, with some staying even longer. Senior monks at each monastery
perform other ceremonies leading followers in worship and prayer.
The two main items presented to monks during Khao Pansaa
are the candles and garments worn by monks, specifically the bathing robe.
The candles were essential in former times and needed for ceremonies,
studying scriptures and performing various other functions. The candle
offering has developed into a custom still followed.
The presentation of garments worn by monks is said to
have originated from methods of bathing in former times, commonly done in
community areas using streams, rivers, ponds and other sources of water,
with monks requiring a bathing robe. The garments worn by monks continued to
develop until the custom included presenting the entire arrangement worn by
Many people take time away from their work on Khao Pansaa
to recognise the importance of the Buddhist Holy Day. Everyone is invited to
participate in the temple ceremonies and to refrain from offensive behaviour
for the day, and to make the same effort thereafter.