Thursday, November 4, 2010

End of Buddhist Lent

Last weekend Oct 23 & 24 was the end of the Buddhist Lent and there was a lot of celebrating going on. 

There are ceremonies and offerings given at the temples.  In the evening there were ceremonies at the temples which culminated with candles, flowers and incense sticks being placed on bamboo model boats.

We had visited a temple earlier in the day and saw some of the large temple boats prepared for the evening ceremonies.  At the front on these boats are dragons made from polystyrene - effective but certainly non-traditional.  Later that evening we saw boats like these being driven to the river  on the back of Utes.

All around town we also saw much smaller, more simple versions made by households.  Some were banana leaves folded into floating objects others were smaller scale boats.  Apparently there has been a trend of using 'pretty' plastic boats.  But they are not so pretty when they collect downstream and don't decompose. 

We went out for dinner near the river and on the way home we had a look.  There were lots of people putting their boats in the river.  Disease, bad luck and other negative things are supposed to float away with the boat.  Most stayed in close to the river bank.  In town and all around there were lots of fireworks going off.

Not great photos - but you can see some of the illuminated boats and illuminations over the central city.

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