Welcome to the 173rd week of Travel Photo Thursday. The semester is half over, and this week I am preparing my 200+ students for their midterm exams next week. I have no idea where the weeks have gone, and I am sure that the rest of the semester will pass in the same whirlwind fashion. This week I’m bringing you back to Chiang Mai and a sampling of the many photos I have taken in and around the city’s numerous Buddhist temples. Did you know that Chiang Mai boasts more than 300 temples?
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A statue at the base of the stupa at Wat Lok Molee. The white strings you see are used in numerous ceremonies such as holiday prayers and house blessings. The belief is that the strings transfer the blessings to each of the participants. After the ceremony they will be cut into small pieces, and attached to visitors wrists to bring good luck.
Buddhist blessing string waiting to be hung…
Buddhist water libation vessels used in blessings…
Monk bowls at Wat Phan Tao…
Monks praying at Wat Chedi Luang on ordination day…
Temple bell at Wat Phan Tao…
Lighting the candles on Macha Bukha Day at Wat Phan Tao…
Macha Bukha Day celebrates the day when 1,250 monks spontaneously came together to pay homage to the historical Buddha.
Preparing to honor the Buddha on Macha Bukha Day at Wat Phan Tao…
The monks are very welcoming, and entrance to all of Chiang Mai’s temples is free. However, you will come across numerous donation boxes throughout the temple complexes. To give or not to give is your choice. Temples are usually open from sunrise. Many close at 6pm. However, some of the bigger temples, like Wat Chedi Luang, usually stay open into the evening. Do dress appropriately. Women should cover their shoulders and knees. Men must wear shirts. Shoes must be removed before entering.
The date of Macha Bucha day is based on the lunar calendar, usually in January or February. If you want to experience this celebration, be sure to check the date well in advance.
This is the 173rd edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.
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