It is a great honor for Thai families to have a son ordained as a Buddhist monk. A man of at least twenty years old can choose to become one for the rest of his life, or for a shorter period like a few months.
Here are photos of the ordination ceremony that my classmates and I witnessed during our Thailand trip. The 22-year-old young man being ordained had chosen to become a full-fledged monk.
The ceremony started early at around 8:00 a.m. A delicious traditional Thai breakfast was served. (Wrote about the cupcakes and ice cream served for dessert in a previous entry!)
My professor asked for the monk-to-be's autograph.
A live band played during parts of the ceremony and during the parade around the temple.
Electric fans for use in the temple were offered by family and friends.
The procession paused in front of the temple after walking around it three times.
Before entering, the monk-to-be threw coins wrapped in colorful ribbons to the crowd, which signified rejection of worldly goods. We had a lot of fun trying to catch the coins which were said to bring us luck.
We were also allowed to enter the temple.
After the ceremony, we took more photos around the area.
The monks agreed to a photo.
Such beautiful architecture!
The ceremony was an amazing cultural experience.