Sunday, 23 December 2007

Rub Bua Festival

Locals from Bang Phli in Samut Prakan pay respect to the revered Buddha image, Luang Pho To, by throwing lotus flowers.

One of the famous festivals in Thailand marking the end of the Rains Retreat is the "Rub Bua Festival" in Bang Phli in Samut Prakan. This means "to receive lotus flower" but it is also called "yon bua" which is a better description.

This literally means to throw lotus flowers which is exactly what happens. The people of Bang Phli, and from far around, come to the temple at Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai to pay respect to the revered Buddha image called Luang Poh To. A replica of this sacred image is put on a boat which then goes up and down the canal in order for people to pay respect. They do this by throwing lotus flowers onto the boat. There are always thousands of people attending and it is complete chaos. Certainly worth attending if you are in this area at the end of the Buddhist Lent next year
Bang Phli is a district with an abundance of lotuses. The morning of the 14th full-moon night of October is the day before the end of the Buddhist Lent. Buddhists come here to pick the flowers for offerings to monks according to tradition. The people of Bang Phli regard this as great merit so they volunteer to keep the flowers for distribution to visitors who row to the district to receive them every year. This is to provide facilitation and is a way to jointly make merit. This tradition has become the "Rap Bua" (lotus receiving) festival.
These lotus flowers are meant as homage to the Triple Gem -- the Lord Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangka. Besides, the Bang Pli local People will also throw lotus flower onto visitors’ boats as a gesture to invite them join in their merit-making.

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