31 March – 2 April 2007 at
Hua Wiang Temple, Mae Hong Sorn Municipality.
Poi Sang Long is a Buddhist novice ordination ceremony, but unlike any other ceremony of its type in the country. Young boys aged between 7 and 14 are ordained as novices to learn the Buddhist doctrines. It's believed that through the act of ordination they will gain merit for their parents.
The origins of this festival lie in a Buddhist legend. It is believed that the tradition is probably following in the footsteps of Prince Rahula, the Buddha's own son, who gave up his worldly life to follow his father's spiritual teachings. Prince Rahula became the youngest ordained monk and the first novice in Buddhism. Subsequently, it became a tradition for young boys to ordain to learn Buddhist teachings.
With such high reverence for the Buddhist religion, the people here consider that the celebrations should be as grand as possible. The festival lasts for three days. On the first day, the boys have their heads shaved. Then, they are bathed and anointed with special waters and dressed up elegantly and colorfully while their faces are superbly embellished. By this time, the boys are known locally as ‘Sang Long' or ‘Loog Gaew' (jeweled sons).
On the second day, a colorful procession is held displaying offerings for the monks. On the third day, the procession once again proceeds through the town and the boys are taken to the temples for the formal ordination ceremony. The colorful festival is one of the most delightful in the north, attracting people from far and wide. From past experience, the editor emphasizes that to enjoy the festival rites on these days, one must rise very early in the morning. As soon as you arrive in Mae Hong Sorn, be sure to get the timetable from the temple.
- 31 March 2007 Sang Long receiving day (at Hua Wiang temple)
- 1 April 2007 Poi Sang Long Procession (The long history and spectacular novice ordination ceremony of Thai Yai people)
- 2 April 2007 Novice ordination ceremony at Hua Wiang Temple
For more information, please contact :
- Mae Hong Sorn Municipality Tel. 053-612016
- Mae Hong Sorn Tourism Coordination Center, TAT, Tel. 053-612982-3 www.travelmaehongson.org