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.

Bung Sa Goun in Remembrance of Our Passed Loved Ones at the Temple

Bung Sa Goun Ceremony

Sunday I attended a Buddhist ceremony at one of the temples in Charlotte, NC, quiet a bit drive from our house. This ceremony is called Bung Sa Goun, which is a memorial service ceremony in remembrance of the passed loved one and in this ceremony, two families held the ceremony together, one family was for their father, and his son and daughter in-law, and another family was for their uncle.

What is unique about this ceremony is that there are four beds (one for each deceased person) that are called Gong Bung and on them contain items that we want our passed loved ones to have in their afterlife. The Buddhist believe that in the spiritual world, our passed loved ones still use these items, we want them to have the necessities of the daily life convenient such as pillow, blanket, plates and bowls, and other items. As for item of personal clothing article, many would also offer this, but ask to get it back by offering donation called Busar, and the monetary amount offered is up to the offered because there is no set amount.

Gong Bung

Gong Bung

Meal is also offered to the deceased, this is called Pra Kao Thip.

Pra Kao Thip

I’ve been working hard in my garden, but my trees don’t look anything like this, might be because I water my trees with water (Nom in Lao language), but I do wish that I have a money tree at home. The money tree here is called Tonh Ga La Pirk, this would give friends and families the opportunity to Tum Boun (merit making) with the host families, offering their money by hanging it on the tree, this tree is obviously watered with Nom Jai, water that came from the heart (Jai). The money is then donated to the temple.

Money tree

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