Candle parades light up Buddhist Lent

Friday, 18 July 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 29 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Buddhists across the Eastern Seaboard lit the way for monks heading into seclusion with candle parades to mark the start of Buddhist Lent.

In Pattaya, students from Pattaya’s 11 public schools competed to decorate the most beautiful and creative lent candles during the July 9 parade.

The procession carried the candles on lavish floats down Beach Road where they were parked near Walking Street for display. Thirteen floats rolled south from Central Festival Pattaya Beach along with marchers from the Pattaya Issan Club and community organizations, many dressed in traditional Thai costumes.

Buddhists across the Eastern Seaboard lit the way for monks heading into seclusion with candle parades to mark the start of Buddhist Lent.  Shown here is the beautiful effort from Lerdpanya School in Sattahip, which won the candle-carving competition there for the fourth consecutive year.  Buddhists across the Eastern Seaboard lit the way for monks heading into seclusion with candle parades to mark the start of Buddhist Lent.  Shown here is the beautiful effort from Lerdpanya School in Sattahip, which won the candle-carving competition there for the fourth consecutive year.

Judges led by Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon and Education Department chief Jintana Maensurin evaluated the floats and candles at Central Festival and Royal Garden Plaza before handing out prizes for the most beautiful and creative candles and best float.

Pattaya School No. 7 won the top prize for most beautiful candle and 25,000 baht. School No. 2 took the 20,000 baht second prize and Pattaya School No. 9 took third and 15,000 baht.

In the creative category, Pattaya School No. 6 won the 25,000 baht first prize, with School No. 4 placing second for 20,000 baht and School No. 11 winning third and 15,000 baht.

Realistic looking wax models representing revered monks throughout the kingdom, prepared by the city, were paraded around Pattaya for citizens to worship on Lent Day 2014.Realistic looking wax models representing revered monks throughout the kingdom, prepared by the city, were paraded around Pattaya for citizens to worship on Lent Day 2014.

School No. 11 won the parade competition and 15,000 baht. School No. 8 finished second with 12,000 baht and School No. 9 took the 10,000-baht third-place prize.

The following day, Wattana and Jintana took a group of students from Pattaya School No. 7 to Bunyakanchanaram Temple to present the winning candles to monks there. The city rotates the temples receiving Buddhist Lent candles each year.

The gear-wheel-shaped candle from Pattaya School No. 9, expressing the importance of Buddhism, won 3rd place.The gear-wheel-shaped candle from Pattaya School No. 9, expressing the importance of Buddhism, won 3rd place.

In Sattahip, District Chief Phawat Lertmukda led the area’s candle-making ceremony with Sattahip District Ecclesiastical chief Tassanee Kunakorn, abbot of Bang Saray Kongkaram Temple

Top area officials were on hand for the July 9 event, the 21st year Sattahip has organized the candle-carving and judging rite. A procession of candles on well-decorated vehicles from 20 organizations displayed their handiworks in front of city hall and, the following day, throughout the district.

In Chonburi, the 58th annual pageant was organized with cooperation from the Chonburi Young Buddhist Association.

Lerdpanya School won the candle-carving competition for the fourth consecutive year.

In Chonburi, Deputy Gov. Pongsak Preechawit presided over the annual Buddhist Lent candle parade at Phra Phutta Sihing Pavilion.

The province’s culture chief, Samart Thienphunwong, said the 58th annual pageant was organized with cooperation from the Chonburi Young Buddhist Association.

Another beautifully presented candle and float makes its way through Sattahip.Another beautifully presented candle and float makes its way through Sattahip.

During the parade festivities, the province handed out 150 scholarships to area students and presented 400 lent candles to various temples in Chonburi through each district’s top administrator. Banglamung received 50 candles, Sriracha 62 and Sattahip 20.

Pongsak said that even though the lent parade has changed over the years, it is still necessary to preserve the traditions of Thailand.

The marching band from Sattahip School leads the procession around Sattahip.The marching band from Sattahip School leads the procession around Sattahip.

Students from Pattaya School No. 11 gracefully perform a Lanna dance, winning them first place in the parade competition.

Beautifully adorned dancers from Wat Nongyai perform Thai traditional dance whilst dressed in Thai silk.Beautifully adorned dancers from Wat Nongyai perform Thai traditional dance whilst dressed in Thai silk.

Pattaya School No. 7 won top prize for most beautiful candle.  The candle was presented to Wat Bunyakanchanaram.Pattaya School No. 7 won top prize for most beautiful candle.  The candle was presented to Wat Bunyakanchanaram.

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