Poy Sang Long Festival

20 March to 11 April, 2015 

Don Chedi Temple, Mueang district, Mae Hong Thailand Son Province, Thailand 

Poy Sang Long Festival
Image Courtesy: Frédéric Gloor used under the Creative Commons Licence

A rite of passage ceremony that is observed by the people of northern Thailand, the Poy Sang Long Festival is celebrated by boys aged between seven and fourteen years of age.

The festival requires young boys to take monastic vows and participate in a monastery life for anywhere between a week and a few months. Around the same time as this important Thai festival, a large group of boys is ordained as novice monks.

In Thailand, Shan immigrants from Myanmar brought the traditions of this ceremony along with them. These traditions dictate that the festival go on for 3 days, but it often goes on for a lot longer than this time period. The boys dress up like princes, imitating Lord Buddha before he gave up worldly pleasure. Male relatives take great pleasure in hoisting the young boys on their shoulders and parading them around the towns and cities. On the third and final day of the festival, the boys are ordained and enter the monastery.

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