One of the common traditions in Thailand is for the males of the family to join the monastery for a period of time in order to bring good luck to their family. Back in May my family held a big celebration for my cousin who decided to become a monk and the planning and preparations for this started almost a year in advance.
Our whole family from Bangkok (and Sukhothai) made the journey early morning to Singburi with our car packed full of food and other offerings for the monks. When we reached his house it was already packed full of people drinking, eating and dancing to traditional Thai music then our first family duty was to begin the cleansing where you shave off all his hair and eyebrows, wash him in water and turmeric then he dons a white robe and begins his blessings.
We woke up early the next day in order to start the procession from his house to the temple which in reality was only a few kilometres away but the walk took us a few hours! Loud music is played and the whole family dances and celebrates in the street, it was so much fun and we all wore matching T-shirts with our family name on, I actually had a little part in designing them to as I chose the colours and the fonts we used, although I'm still clueless about a lot of Thai traditions I love that my family allows me to be a part of them and teach me new things.
At the temple each of the family were given a package of offerings to give to the monks, these packages can contain food, money, toiletries, robes, basically anything the monks will need for their stay there as monks enter the monastery with nothing and rely on donations for their stay there. We made the procession around the temple three times, which is said to be auspicious, before my cousin enters the temple to take his vows and change from his white robes into the tradition orange monk robes.
The ceremony ended with the family offering food to the monks, praying and receiving blessings, then my cousin was left alone to spend his time at the temple with the elder monks. I had so much fun celebrating with my family although it was ridiculous hot and I really enjoy seeing and being a part of these Thai traditions although I may not fully understand what's going on at times and I'm very much looking forward to the next big celebration we have together.
If you want to learn more about becoming a monk be sure to check out this link
Love & Blessings