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Thailand brings in new year with traditional funeral rituals

Jan 01, 2019 12:58 IST
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As the world rings in the new year with fireworks and countdowns, a suburban temple in Thailand’s Bangkok witnesses a peculiar ritual of worshippers lying inside coffins to take part in traditional funeral rituals. What may strike eerie to many is, in fact, a Thai Buddhist ritual.

The ceremony worshippers believe symbolises death and rebirth, which helps them rid their selves of bad luck and be born again for a fresh start in the new year.

Participants held flowers and incense as monks covered them with pink sheets and chanted prayers for the dead.

Phitsanu Kiengpradouk, a 67-year-old retired policeman was ready to welcome the new year with his own funeral.

“Laying in coffin means we are letting go of our suffering, from our body, and from our mind. We come here to lay in coffins, so we can have better luck and a better life,” said Phitsanu.

Busaba Yookong, a 30-year-old attending the ritual with her family said that attending her own funeral was not an eerie experience as one would presume.

The Takien Temple saw hundreds of worshippers flocking to it for taking part in this Thai Buddhist ritual.

While Thailand is on its way to becoming modern, with its capital city being filled with glitzy malls and high-rise buildings, superstitions still hold sway over the people in some aspects of the society.