Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Loy Krathong ลอยกระทง in Wat Chetawan วัดพุทธไทยเชตวัน Petaling Jaya

[past-dated post, written 15 Nov 2011]

Headed over to the only Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple วัดพุทธไทยเชตวัน in Petaling Jaya November last year for the Loy Krathong (ลอยกระทง) festival.

Sis was saying every year there would be this Thai festival going on in the lake opposite Amcorp Mall, where Thai residents (locals alike), would Loy (to float) Krathong (lotus-shaped receptacle which can float on the water) into the lake, as such in the lake opposite Amcorp Mall in PJ.

So we were there at the temple late in the evening. My first time visiting a Thai temple in PJ. So back in 1956, a veteran member of the Sangha (community of monks) by the name Phra Kru Palat Vieng who had been residing in Kuala Lumpur long enough, initiated the idea of building a sizable Buddhist Temple close to Kuala Lumpur. 2acres of land was allocated by the Selangor State Government, another 2.5acres was acquired through donations and the monk'sown savings. -wikipedia

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand's as well as then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman donated for the completion of the temple. The Fine Arts Department of Thailand in Bangkok drew up the architectural plans and oversee the construction of the temple. His Majesty The King of Thailand also granted for his Royal Insignia to be mounted on the front gable of the building and donated the main shrine Buddha image named Phra Buddha Thammeen. Today, Wat Chetawan, being one of the few royal sponsored temples outside Thailand, houses numerous distincive structures. -wikipedia

The Loy Khrathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, usually falls in November. It was said to originate during the Sukhothai kingdom, but some begged to defer. According to the writings of H.M. King Rama IV in 1863, the originally Brahmanical festival was adapted by Buddhists in Thailand as a ceremony to honour the original Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama.

Apart from venerating the Buddha with light (the candle on the raft), the act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot. People will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself. Many Thai believe that floating a raft will bring good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (พระแม่คงคา). -wikipedia

More info on upcoming events:
Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple
More of photo taken that evening:
Loy Krathong at Wat Chetawan PJ

3 Jujus:

Gratitude said...

Very very happy that you went! ^^

[SK] said...

i've been to these temple few times, but during the day.. it's a nice place actually..

Small Kucing said...

so did you put any onto the lake?