Songkran Festival 2014 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro on Sunday April 13, 2014. We had a good turnout and the weather was exceptionally nice, it was in the 80s. Songkran is one of the biggest events at our temple. It is the time of the year for a new beginning, and for some of us it is the time to wash away the rust that has been clinging to our hearts and souls, learning to let go of the past and to start fresh with the new beginning. I am the temple photographer and do love the colorful and rich culture of the event.

Some photos were converted to black and white due to the orange cover above making everyone’s faces looking orange.

People brought in foods to offer to monks, we only had three monks holding the service so there were plenty of foods for all of us.

For the love of photography you can’t have enough photography gear. P’Odd carries this many gears on a regular basis, perhaps this might be on his light side.

The photo below was taken by P’Odd. It was nice of him to offer to take a picture of me pouring water on the monk’s hand.

We songk nom pra or pour water over monk’s hands for blessing.

This young man asked the monk to bless his tattoos.

I think it’s still debatable if tattoo is just a body art or a cultural sacred design.

Jaydee Cide or sand stupas.

Lee has grown so much this year.

Looking back to the time when she was 6 year old, these two photos below were taken in 2008.

Lee paid homage to the birthday Buddha status or the Day Buddha status.

Time has changed, but this temple remains the same sacred ground for us.

Instead of splashing water, shaving cream is still popular in this part of the country.

Khmer classical dance

I’ve posted more photos at Wat Greensboro’s Facebook page, please click here to see more Songkran Day Festival 2014 photos.

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New Year 2014 at Wat Greensboro

I hope everyone had a good New Year celebration, like every year we went to our local temple Wat Greensboro on New Year’s Day.

The service was held in the Buddha room.

It’s low lighting, so photographing was a challenge.

Lee and my oldest sister gave morning alms.

We offered meal to Phramaha Somsak after the morning alms giving.

Blessing water for the new year.

We normally perform Bungsakoun ceremony (merit making) for our mom on New Year’s day since it’s closed to her death’s anniversary January 7th, but this time we did it on December 28th since some of my sisters couldn’t make it on January 1st. It has been 7 years since her passing. I’m glad most of us could make it for the ceremony, my sisters and nephews came down from New York for the week.

Below is cun 5. It’s 5 pairs of flowers and candles for paying homage to the lord Buddha.

We offered Prakao tip (meal) to my mom, and offered another Prakao tip to the lord Buddha.

I am hopeful that 2014 will be a good year, and wish you all a blessing New Year.

Kathin Ceremony 2013 at Wat Greensboro

Our local temple Wat Greensboro held Thot Kathin on Sunday October 27th. It is one of the biggest events at our local temple where Buddhist worshipers offered gifts, foods and yellow ropes to the monks.

In order for our temple to Thot Kathin there has to be a minimal of 5 monks and Wat Greensboro only has a monk and a novice monk. The temple invited monks from nearby Wat to perform the Kathin Ceremony.

One of the guest monks.

P’Odd was one of the photographers at the event.

The black and white image of Morning alms giving does take you back in time. The orange canvas above castes an orange color on people’s faces and my only solution was to convert the photo to black and white.

Food offering to the monks

The temple prepared foods for us this time.

The parade around the temple ground was festive, if you have time do checkout the video above.

I was busy photographing the event, photo below was taken by P’Odd.

Please visit Wat Greensboro’s Facebook to see more photos of Kathin Ceremony 2013.

End of Buddhist Lent Day at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated the End of Buddhist Lent Day on Sunday, October 20th this year. It was the day that marks the end of the three-month rains retreat.

My dad offered and hung money on the money tree.

It was cold early in the morning and Lee bundled up for the service.

The morning Alms giving was Tuk Badt Tayvo. It is an old Thai tradition of Alms giving where the Buddhist worshipers would lineup and the monks come by to collect Alms. The line was led by a Buddha statue, then followed by monks.

Foods were brought in by Buddhist worshipers to offer to monks.

An offering to the monks.

The temple bathroom construction is coming along slowly, hope we’ll be able to use it by next year.

Please visit Wat Greensboro’s Facebook to see more photos of the End of Buddhist Lent Day 2013.

The Buddhist Lent Day at Wat Greensboro

Sunday July 21, 2013 was the Buddhist Lent Day at our local temple Wat Greensboro. It is called Kao Punsa for the locals and it’s the tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annual three-month Rains Retreat known in Laos and Thailand as Punsa, which dated back to the early Buddhism in ancient India, this is the time where monks spent three months of the annual rainy season in permanent dwellings. This is to avoid unnecessary traveling during the period when crops were still new for fear that they might accidentally step on young plants. In the ancient time, the Lord Buddha left earth for 3 months to visit his mother up in heaven, he wanted to show his gratitude by chanting for her during this Lent period. It is also considered inauspicious to get married or move house during the Lent period, and after the end of the Lent period then the calendar is open for weddings.

My alms bowl.

This year we have a brand new orange shade cover, and it’s eye catching from a distance. When I took my first alm’s shot, I’ve noticed right away that people’s faces were orange color. I thought to myself that this can’t be good. I worked to adjust the color for this image below, but it’s still too orange to me.

I tried to adjust the remaining alms giving photos, but it was impossible for me to do so. My only solution was to convert the photos to black and white.

We offered meal to the monk after alms giving.

Dragon fruits

The Buddhist sermon.

I

Buddhist Lent ceremony,

My dad eating meal with friends.

The bathroom construction is coming along slowly.

I was happy to see the roof gone up, and hoping that we’ll get to use it by Kathin in November of this year.