Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan members on Saturday, March 23 exhumed Pattaya graveyard internees buried without families to clean bones and prepared them for a Buddhist cremation ceremony.
The 6th annual rite, which will run for 64 days, began March 20 with a Chinese god and dragon parade from the organization’s Naklua headquarters, through the Naklua Market to South Road, Walking Street and Beach Road.
On March 23 at 8:09 a.m. members assembled at the Soi Siam Country Club cemetery invited Chinese gods to visit and then began opening graves, offering blessings to other deities.
The grave-cleaning ceremony originated from China and spread to Thailand. Legend purports that China had suffered flooding followed by an epidemic, leading to villagers falling ill and dying.
During grave cleaning, attendees are banned from commenting on the smell and must not spit.
It is expected 1,000 corpses will be exhumed, cleaned and cremated over the next two months.