Sart Thai Festival at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated Sart Thai Day at Wat Greensboro on Sunday October 11, 2015. Sart day is referred to as a memorial day for the dead, it is a time to remember dead relatives and merit making on their behalves. This is a belief that once a year the hell gates open for 15 days for the dead to visit their living relatives. This made me think of Lao Boun Kao Padap Din where the Laotians also believe that once a year the hell gates open for souls in hell to come visit the living world. People would leave foods around the temple gates or under big trees as offering to the spirits.

Alms giving

Food offering to the monks.

The persimmons from the temple ground.

The leaves are changing colors in our area, the mornings and nights are cooler also.

See more photos at Wat Greensboro’s Facebook Sart Festival (Prajumben) or Merit Making Transference

New Year 2012 at Wat Greensboro

It has been a tradition for our family to visit the temple on New Year’s Day.  My sisters came down from NYC to tum boun (merit making) for our mom, it has been 5 years since her passing.  The normal service time is at 9:30am and we got there before the service, a few joined in to make merit for their deceased loved ones.

The monks performed the ceremony of bungsakoun for our mom and another couple’s relative, which is a merit transferring to deceased loved ones.

According to 2012 Chinese Horoscope prediction, the year 2012 is Water Dragon Year. Dragon mainly contains Earth. Earth and Water are opposite elements. It sounds that some bad news will continue to arrive. Some people have predicted the Doomsday on December 21, 2012 after interpreting the ending of the Great Cycle of the Mayan Calendar. Mayans say that this whole cycle of civilization 5,125 years comes to an end on the Winter Solstice, 2012. In China, there is no prediction about the end of the world in 2012. Conversely, hundreds of years ago, a prophet said China will become prosperous and peaceful in 2012.

We had a good turnout this year, and it is a good sign that this will be a good year.

This is an interesting Alms’ bowl.  She is very thoughtful in her offering and also includes an envelope of money as many Buddhist worshipers offer money to monks and temple on special occasion.  The money offering to the individual monk is called Pud Jai, it goes to the monk and not the temple.

Alms giving

Food offering to the monks.

New Year 2011 at Wat Greensboro

We visited our local temple Wat Greensboro on New Year’s Day and took the opportunity to Tum Boun (merit making) for my mom as well, it has been 4 years since her passing.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/10sec, ISO 3200, focal length 65mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance tungsten light, evaluative metering

Ajarn Somsak burned the names of the deceased that we offered the merit to as a way of communication to the spiritual world.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/15sec, ISO 3200, focal length 105mm, exp. bias 0step, white balance tungsten light, evaluative metering

Many Buddhist worshipers also joined in the merit making for their passed loved ones.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/11, 1/6sec, ISO 3200, focal length 24mm, exp. bias 0step, white balance tungsten light, evaluative metering

Almsgiving on January 1st is a tradition that has passed down for generations amongst the Buddhist community and a tradition for our local temple Wat Greensboro of North Carolina.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/4, 1/30sec, ISO 3200, focal length 24mm, exp. bias 0step, white balance tungsten light, evaluative metering

It’s a custom amongst some young men in Thailand and Laos to become a young novice monk before they get married.  It is also a marking as a transition from youth to adulthood, and some became a novice monk at a young age and decided to walk the path of the Lord Buddha like Ajarn Somsak and remained as a Buddhist monk till this day. We are very fortunate to have him as our spiritual leader.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/15sec, ISO 3200, focal length 82mm, exp. bias 0step, white balance tungsten light, evaluative metering

Wat Greensboro ordained a young novice monk yesterday.  It’s a big decision since  to become a Buddhist monk one has to make a complete break with all normal life, to leave family and friends behind, and to follow strict rules and observe 10 basic vows of the fundamental precepts that all Buddhists should follow.  A permission to be ordained must be granted from one’s parents and superior, and in his case both his parents gave a consent.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/25sec, ISO 3200, focal length 105mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/15sec, ISO 3200, focal length 24mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Accepting of the ropes.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/25sec, ISO 3200, focal length 28mm, exposure bias -0.3step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/20sec, ISO 3200, focal length 65mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/20sec, ISO 3200, focal length 50mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Ajarn Darrell will become his spiritual teacher.

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/15sec, ISO 3200, focal length 24mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.6, 1/13sec, ISO 3200, focal length 50mm, exposure bias 0step, white balance auto, evaluative metering

Aperture Priority, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/4, 1/40sec, ISO 3200, focal length 28mm, exposure bias -0.3step, white balance auto, evaluative metering