Songkran Festival 2015 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro last Sunday April 19, 2015. It rained in our area, traveling to the temple was difficult and by the time we got there it amazed us that there’s not a drop of rain and the temple is only 1 hour and 30 minutes by car ride from us. We had a good turnout.The Cassia Fistula L. or the Golden Shower Trees are in bloom during the Songkran festival in Laos and Thailand, and in the US the temple is decorated with the pink Azalea flowers, the flowers that are in season during Songkran in our area.

One of our temple greeters.

For most of us when we built the Jaydee Cide or sand stupas we made a wish and donated the good merits for our deceased family members, and as for us it was for our mom. Some might wish for a year of good health and prosperity, I wonder how many people remember the symbolic of the Jaydee Cide, how many people remember the story of Kabinlaphom and his seven daughters Nang Sangkaan?

Songkran is the traditional Lao and Thai New Year also called the Water Splashing Festival. It’s too cold to splash water in our area, and we pour water over Buddha images for blessing and cleansing the rust from our hearts and souls and wish a good year of health and prosperity.

The food vendors were busy, especially the Spicy Papaya vendor.

The traditional morning Almsgiving offering food to the monks.

The traditional Khmer dancers.

Please visit Wat Greensboro’s Facebook to see more photos of Songkran Festival 2015.

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New Year’s Day Celebration at Wat Greensboro

We went to Tum Boun (merit making) at our local temple Wat Greensboro on New Year’s Day. It has been our family tradition to visit the temple on New Year’s Day, and also for many families that were there.

I always feel at peace when visiting the temple, the incense aroma filled the Buddha room.

Many offered offering flowers for the lord Buddha on New Year’s Day.

We performed Bungsakoun ceremony (merit making) for our mom since it’s closed to her death’s anniversary January 7th, it has been 8 years since her passing. I’m glad most of us could make it for the ceremony, my sisters and nephew came down from New York for the week.

Our temple is currently under construction so there are exposed walls and the ceremony was moved to the great room (or living room) of the temple.

The monks were performing Bungsakoun ceremony (merit making) for our mom below, two meals were prepared, one for our mom and one for Pra Kao Thip (or meal) for the lord Buddha.

My oldest sister from New York offering the merit to our mom for this Alms giving.

Lee offering her Alms giving.

The meal was offered to Phramaha Somsak Sambimb and Phramaha Thanom Sonwongsa after the morning Alms giving.

Phramaha Somsak gave our family blessing water for the New Year.

Also tied white strings on wrists for good luck.Thank you for your interest in reading up to this point, I wish you happiness, good health and a prosperous New Year.

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.

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.