Religion

Aural Flavours

Take a look at this guy. 50 or 60 year old. Masked up. Sunnies for cool. But, look at his instrument.  

It’s a solid plank of wood. Twin neck, dual tuned, 3 string guitars in one. It’s genius. 

Once in a while, if you appear out of place, and look interested in what’s going on around you, things happen. We stopped by the Wat Phra That Choeng Chum. It’s one of Sakon Nakhorns main temples. 

We stopped by an evening night market and the temple was holding a festival. Raising money to gild their pagoda. The whole place was set up for merit making opportunities. Flower offerings, Incense offerings, Monk blessings. It’s all very spiritual. It’s a chance to atone for your misdeeds. A way to pay for your transgressions by contributing toward something beautiful. 

For the bigger trespassers, there’s a chance for a more thorough cleansing. Bigger donations get your name read off in public and then a chance to march around the temple with a coterie of dancers and a band.

After the marching, you visit the monks and make your offering. You make merit toward your lost loved ones and receive a blessing from the monks. Then you’re free to go. 

We’d watched a procession and then, seeing that we were interested, we were asked to join in.  We had a guide walking us through the process, and soon enough we were marching and swaying around, carrying offerings. It was a very spiritual and festive and different way to mark Christmas

I think, though, the best part was the band and this guy up top.  He is ready!!

Take a look at the first video. This is the procession they put on.  The ladies are elegant and well-rehearsed. They move nearly in unison, like it’s all they’ve ever done.

But the band!  Watch the past the 1:00 minute mark.  You’ll see there are 9 guys all plugged into an ice cream cart, packed with a genset, amps, speakers, percussion and, of course, hand sanitizer. One guy pulls, the other 8 make the music. It is an aural 31 flavors of sound. I could sit and listen to the Thai-County Funk all night long. The blessings bestowed were well worth the merit made.

Check out the band.

I included another clip, just in case you can’t get enough

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