When it comes to colourful Buddhist festivals it’s hard to go past the annual Poi Sang Long ceremony practiced by the Shan people of Burma and Mae Hong Son province (province [of the] three mists), northern Thailand.
Meaning Festival of the Crystal Sons, the three-day long ceremony traces its origins back to the tale of Prince Rahula, the son of the Lord Buddha, who gave up his worldly possessions to follow his fathers teachings, becoming the first novice Buddhist monk and youngest ordained Buddhist monk 2,535 years ago.
As part of the Poi Sang Long ceremony young boys first have their heads shaved by parents and family members, before being bathed, anointed with herbal waters and then dressed to resemble princes from bygone eras.
Over the three days of the ceremony the would-be novice monks are carried around from temple to temple to seek forgiveness from the cities abbots, before being carried to the Don Chedi temple for the formal ordination ceremony.
Enjoy all of the colour, energy, and traditions of the Mae Hong Son Poi Sang Long ceremony in this Mae Hong Son Poi Sang Long Ceremony photo special.
Mae Hong Song Poi Sang Long ceremony slide gallery
Feature video John Le Fevre
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He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me
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