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TRADITIONS & UTENSILS

  

 

 

  look kaew

 

Thailand

During the Poi Sang Long festival, which is held annually in Mae Hong Son, look kaew, young boys of usually Shan origin, are ordained as Buddhist novices during the school holidays (fig.).

 

They are princely dressed and carried to the temple in a procession, riding on horseback or are carried on the shoulders of grownups, as a symbolic reference to prince Siddhartha, who abandoned his secular life riding a horse (fig.).

 

  look kaew

 

  look kaew

 

Some boys wear dark sunglasses to symbolize their lack of knowledge of the dharma, the Buddhist teachings. The Northern Thai name for these candidate novices is different from tradition elsewhere in Thailand, where Buddhist monks and novices are called buatnaag, naag or naga, and once ordained phra or sahmmanaen.