Continued from: Wat Lao Buddhavong July 4th, 2008 Concert Part VI Tuk Badt (Almsgiving) and Paying Homage to the Triple Gems
We arrived at Wat Lao Buddhavong on Thursday evening, the first thing I noticed right away are the beautiful Phraya Nak or Nagas on the rooftop, as a Buddhist myself, I was brought up to believe that Naga is the protector of the lord Buddha, and these are definitely protector of Wat Lao Buddhavong.
According to wikipedia, the legend of the Naga is a strong and sacred belief held by Lao and Thai people living along the Mekong River. Many pay their respects to the river because they believe the Naga still rule in it, and locals hold an annual sacrifice for the Naga. Each ceremony depends on how an individual village earns its living from the Mekong River, for instance, through fishing or transport. Local residents believe that the Naga can protect them from danger, so they are likely to make a sacrifice to Naga before taking a boat trip along the Mekong River.
Traditions about Nagas are also very common in all the Buddhist countries of Asia. In many countries, the Naga concept has been merged with local traditions of large and intelligent serpents or dragons. In Tibet, the Naga was equated with the klu (pronounced lu), spirits that dwell in lakes or underground streams and guard treasure. In China, the Naga was equated with the long or Chinese dragon.
The Buddhist Naga generally has the form of a large cobra-like snake, usually with a single head but sometimes with many. At least some of the Nagas are capable of using magic powers to transform themselves into a human semblance.
This video’s description: On January 5, 2008, the Buddhist congregation in Northern Virginia celebrated the birthday of its principal monk by placing a dragon on the temple.
Continued from: Wat Lao Buddhavong July 4th, 2008 Concert Part V Souvenir
It was nice on Friday morning, so Tuk Badt (Almsgiving) was held outside in front of the Sala Houng Tum (main temple), the Wat (temple) provided items for Tuk Badt, and you can Busa (donate) $5, or some brought their own, and since we live far, we Busa the items for Tuk Badt.
On Saturday morning, it was cloudy/drizzle so Tuk Badt was held inside the Sala Houng Tum. Tuk Badt is believed by many that it’s a Boun (merit making) of life, that they’ll live a long and healthy life; which technically speaking, by Tuk Badt, they’re offering foods to the monks to sustain their livelihoods.
Many worshipers were there to pay homage to The Triple Gems and seek the blessings of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. As for paying homage to the Triple Gems, this is what you’d ask, “May all kinds of Danger, May all kinds of Harm Be swept away from me, May all Kinds of Danger, May all Kinds of Harm Vanish and disappear (Translated by Kyaw Myaing).
Continued from: Wat Lao Buddhavong July 4th, 2008 Concert Part IV Lao Foods
With the high price in gas, I’m surprised that there were still as many venues set up as the previous years, but of course the buyers also shared this cost because many items were a lot higher this year than last year, but one of the good things about a festival such as this is that the price is negotiable.
This year the weather was a bit unpredictable, one minute it was sunny, humid, and the next minute it was raining, the weather was good most of Friday, then it rained in the evening, and it was cloudy/drizzle Saturday morning, and we left around 1 PM, so I’ve no idea how the rest of the day went, but definitely not good for venues, some of these came from all over the united states, some from Florida, Connecticut, Buffalo NY, and some as far as Canada.