Pattaya temple raises 454,000 baht during Tod Kathin festival

Hundreds of Buddhist devotees gathered at the Khao Sao Tong Thong to make merit in the “Tod Kathin” ceremonies at the end of Buddhist lent.

Wat Khao Sao Tong Thong temple raised more than 450,000 baht during its annual Kathin festival to finish the second floor of its sermon hall.

Phra Khru Winaithornsompong, Abbot of Wat Khao Sao Tong Thong welcomed Nongprue Mayor Winai Inpitak, other local and former politicians including Chanyut Hengtrakul and his son MP hopeful Rattakit Hengtrakul together with sponsors Pranee Saard-rum, Siriporn Arskoat and Mr. Eugene were on hand Nov. 19 for the symbolic parade in which Buddhists wrap fabric around the temple three times.

Phra Khru Samuman Kittipatto, Abbot of Wat Santitarawad (Wat Tung Han), presided over the payers and “Kathin” ceremonies where monks also received their new robes.

The “Kathin Samakki” festival is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Buddhist temples and, this year, Khao Sao Tong Thong raked in 454,425 baht.

Devotees pray and make donations by planting their money on the “Kathin” tree.

The funds will help the temple complete construction of the sermon hall’s second floor, which currently is just bare beams and concrete. With the donations, the temple can add windows, doors and other interior decorations, as well as complete the staircase.

The Tod Kathin Ceremony is an annual religious event where Buddhists present monks with new yellow robes and make merit. Every year, each temple may allow only one “Kathin” ceremony to be held and the period in which this function can be held is restricted to one month of the year – from the start of the end of lent or the 1st night of the waning moon, 11th lunar month to the 15th night of the 12th lunar month.

Phra Khru Samuman Kittipatto, Abbot of Wat Santitarawad (Wat Tung Han), presided over the payers and “Kathin” ceremonies.

Buddhist people regard the “Tod Kathin” ceremony as the most significant form of merit-making next to the ordination of their close kin. The word “Tod” means “making an offering to the monk” and the word “Kathin” literary means the “embroidery frame” used in sewing the yellow robes which, in the old days, were collected from rags on dead bodies in the jungle since clothes were not available in plenty as nowadays and there was no machine to help in the sewing or embroidering work. Wooden frames were therefore used to help stretch the materials.

During the time of Lord Buddha, monks had to wander about looking for discarded pieces of cloth for use as robes. Sometimes, they had to use material that had already been used as wrappers for dead bodies. This brought about a great number of problems. Lord Buddha, aware of such problems, gave permission to monks to accept gifts of cloth presented by layman. However, he decreed that it must be given within the period of one month after Lent. Monks entitled to accept such gifts must be those who have resided in that temple for the whole three months. It is also prohibitive for any monks to persuade or invite anybody to perform the “Kathin” ceremony at their temples.

Former Chonburi MP Chanyut Hengtrakul and his son Rattakit together with other benefactors attended the “Kathin” ceremonies at Wat Khao Sao Tong Thong temple.

Devout Buddhists mingle around the unfinished building at Wat Khao Sao Tong Thong temple during the “Tod Kathin” ceremony.