Photos: The rise of Buddhist funerals for pets in Bangkok

Updated On Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

Pet cremations, complete with Buddhist rituals, are fast catching up in Bangkok for dogs, cats and even monkeys as owners increasingly consider them members of their families. The monks officiating these ceremonies say the funerals have in turn brought people closer to religion, spreading the lesson that all things are temporary.

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A Buddhist monk blesses the body of Dollar, a six-year-old Shitzu dog, during her funeral at Wat Krathum Suea Pla Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Pet cremations, complete with Buddhist rituals, are popping up across Bangkok for dogs, cats and even monkeys. In the devout Buddhist kingdom some pet owners believe the monk-led send off will boost their pets’ chances of being reincarnated as a higher being. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

A Buddhist monk blesses the body of Dollar, a six-year-old Shitzu dog, during her funeral at Wat Krathum Suea Pla Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Pet cremations, complete with Buddhist rituals, are popping up across Bangkok for dogs, cats and even monkeys. In the devout Buddhist kingdom some pet owners believe the monk-led send off will boost their pets’ chances of being reincarnated as a higher being. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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Pimrachaya Worakijmanotham (L) and her friend take a selfie with a photo of Dollar, her six-year-old Shitzu, during the pet’s funeral. “This is the last time I can be with her... so I want Dollar to receive good things,” Pimrachaya, dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, told AFP, a framed photo of “her child” Dollar behind her. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

Pimrachaya Worakijmanotham (L) and her friend take a selfie with a photo of Dollar, her six-year-old Shitzu, during the pet’s funeral. “This is the last time I can be with her... so I want Dollar to receive good things,” Pimrachaya, dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, told AFP, a framed photo of “her child” Dollar behind her. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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Dollar, inside a coffin with flower garlands and gold joss paper during her funeral. “In this life, she (Dollar) couldn’t go to the temples to make merit for herself. This is the only thing we can do for her,” Pimrachaya, who is a banker, said. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

Dollar, inside a coffin with flower garlands and gold joss paper during her funeral. “In this life, she (Dollar) couldn’t go to the temples to make merit for herself. This is the only thing we can do for her,” Pimrachaya, who is a banker, said. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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At another funeral a couple covers the bones and ashes of a pet dog with sacred oil, before releasing the remains in the Chaopraya river in Bangkok. According to Buddhist belief, merit garnered in each life eventually leads to nirvana -- the state of non-suffering. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

At another funeral a couple covers the bones and ashes of a pet dog with sacred oil, before releasing the remains in the Chaopraya river in Bangkok. According to Buddhist belief, merit garnered in each life eventually leads to nirvana -- the state of non-suffering. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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Mourners pray for their pets before releasing their bones and ashes in the Chaopraya river during funeral rites in Bangkok. The trend while particularly popular in Japan is catching on fast as Thais increasingly see pets as family members. At least three temples offer daily services of a symbolic ritual returning earthly remains to nature. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

Mourners pray for their pets before releasing their bones and ashes in the Chaopraya river during funeral rites in Bangkok. The trend while particularly popular in Japan is catching on fast as Thais increasingly see pets as family members. At least three temples offer daily services of a symbolic ritual returning earthly remains to nature. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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Dollar, the Shitzu dog, inside her pink coffin during her funeral at Wat Krathum Suea Pla temple. Surging demand for his service also reflects the shrinking public spaces in the bustling Thai capital. “Before, we buried them in authorised parks or backyards but now it’s rare to find ones in Bangkok,” said Phrakru Samu Jumpol, a monk at Wat Krathum Suea Pla. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

Dollar, the Shitzu dog, inside her pink coffin during her funeral at Wat Krathum Suea Pla temple. Surging demand for his service also reflects the shrinking public spaces in the bustling Thai capital. “Before, we buried them in authorised parks or backyards but now it’s rare to find ones in Bangkok,” said Phrakru Samu Jumpol, a monk at Wat Krathum Suea Pla. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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An undertaker places a coffin inside a crematorium in Bangkok. While it makes for a good business -- starting prices are around 3,000 baht (around $91) and the most extravagant services cost up to 100,000 baht -- the monk says the funerals have brought people closer to religion. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

An undertaker places a coffin inside a crematorium in Bangkok. While it makes for a good business -- starting prices are around 3,000 baht (around $91) and the most extravagant services cost up to 100,000 baht -- the monk says the funerals have brought people closer to religion. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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A family of mourners releases flowers with the bones and ashes of their beloved pet dog into the Chaopraya river in Bangkok. For pet lovers, the service provides spiritual succour at a time of great pain. At the end of a funeral ceremony of her Siberian husky Maprang, a teary-eyed Tipaporn Ounsiri said, “If the next life exists, please come back and be my daughter, don’t be born as a pet anymore”. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 05, 2017 12:40 PM IST

A family of mourners releases flowers with the bones and ashes of their beloved pet dog into the Chaopraya river in Bangkok. For pet lovers, the service provides spiritual succour at a time of great pain. At the end of a funeral ceremony of her Siberian husky Maprang, a teary-eyed Tipaporn Ounsiri said, “If the next life exists, please come back and be my daughter, don’t be born as a pet anymore”. (Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

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