Chiang Mai’s Maya mall holds Tak Bat Devo ceremony

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Saranyu Meethongkham (5th from left) with Chang Phueak Mayor Boontham Srikhamul and mall Assistant Manager Sarayut Thongrompho open the Tak Bat Devo ceremony.

Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center marked the end of Buddhist Lent by inviting 149 monks to receive alms from its employees and the public in Chiang Mai.

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Organized with Chang Phueak Subdistrict, the Oct. 3 Tak Bat Devo ceremony opened with Chiang Mai Deputy Gov. Saranyu Meethongkham, Chang Phueak Mayor Boontham Srikhamul, and mall Assistant Manager Sarayut Thongrompho leading the offerings.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Saranyu Meethongkham and others offer alms to revered monks.

Tak Bat Devo, derived from the Sanskrit word “Devorohana,” is celebrated at the same time as Auk Phansa, the end of Buddhist Lent. Usually centered around a temple on a hillside, monks who’ve been in their rains retreat for three months of Lent emerge in a procession of golden gowns down the hill depicting the path Buddha took down a celestial stairway made of silver, gold and crystal.

At Maya, there were three parades, one of monks and two others of angels and devils.

According to ancient tales, Buddha returned to his home in Kapilavastu seven years after achieving Nirvana and becoming the Enlightened One. At the start of Lent that year, in remembrance of his mother, Buddha ascended to the heavens to deliver a sermon to his mother. There he resided for three months.

On the first day of the waxing moon of the eleventh lunar month – Oct. 3 this year – Buddha returned to throngs of angels, disciples and followers who received him with offerings of food and other sacred items. Followers repeated his return in following years during a ceremony that has come to represent the Buddhist belief in reincarnation as much as its historical significance.

The three world parade (angels, humans and hell) marches to Wat Jed Yod.