Blessing a New House

The extended family that I visited in Ang Thong in April are in the process of turning a vacant lot into new accommodation/businesses. While I was there we had a blessing of the first stage by monks from two of the local wats.

I was afraid that this would involve an incredibly early start, but the scheduled time was quite civilised: around 8am. Of course, this meant that the women started cooking much earlier, but for a man the main responsibility seems to be to await orders.

Eventually the time came to load food and other equipment on the pickup and we were off. The equipment included mats for the monks, who arrived later in a couple more pickups.

The ceremony was similar to various celebrations I’ve seen back in New Zealand. But it is enjoyable to see these things in their natural environment.

After the chanting it was time to serve the monks. So, finally, at this stage it’s an advantage being a man, since we can hand the food across, whereas the women would have to place it on the monks’ receiving cloths. Of course, being Thailand, there was enough food to feed a small army, so once the monks had taken what they needed no-one went hungry.

The final part of the ceremony was blessing the individual rooms and some sprinkling water around. Then the monks were back on the pickups and the workmen who had been politely waiting could get on with the rest of the job.

3 responses to “Blessing a New House

  1. Khengsiong Chew

    Mike,
    The monks wear robes of different colors. Are they from different sects?

  2. Dear Khengsiong Chew,

    Thank you for the question! I tried to ask this question myself, but at the time managed to only ascertain that they were from two different Wats. I don’t know enough Thai, or the Thai people enough English, to discuss such technicalities.

    I initially guessed that the ones in darker robes were from the Forest tradition, but according to the discussion when I asked about it here:
    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=47098
    they are all Mahanikaya Town Monks.

    Apparently, to summarize, if they were Forest Monks their robes would be darker and they would have brought their own bowls. If they were Dhammayut they would have brought their own cloths to sit on. (Also, Dhammayut are not very common, neither are forests in this area…)

    Hope that helps.

  3. The different color you see in your picture are just newer and older robes.

    However, you are correct about the Forest Monks with thier darker colored robes.