As you approach Koh Samui from the air, the 12-metre tall, golden statue of the Lord Buddha sitting on a high platform at the top of a wide staircase decorated with dragons, dominates the scene. Built in 1972, the enormous sitting Buddha sits within the Phra Yai Temple complex on a small island just of the northern shore of the island.
That's what we visited yesterday; the big Buddha here on the island, not too far away from our resort. But then again, the island is small and everything is relatively close by.
Thai visitors to the island usually make the Big Buddha their first stop. They will pray here, make offerings of fruit and flowers, rice and water, and burn five incense sticks. This is to ensure a happy and fruitful visit.
At the foot of the Buddha statue is a meditation centre and within the temple grounds is a market place where amulets and Buddhist and Brahmin religious souvenirs are sold alongside Tee-shirts, hats, and other secular items.
Jasmine and Juliet were impressed with all the holy stuff that was going on there. There is the big Buddha, and then there are Buddha's for each day of the week. We checked on which day the girls were born... on a Saturday and so we offered some money to the Buddha of Saturday. And they each bought a small buddha which represent the Saturday. Of course this one is more special than the other ones in their eyes since it has a cobra protecting it... Oh well, we just leave it that way :-)
The Seven Days of Thai Buddhism
Traditionally it is believed that Buddha spent seven days following his enlightenment thinking of the suffering of all living creatures and how unimportant his life was prior to reaching enlightenment. Thais are superstitious and believe that their day of birth reflects their life and there are seven Buddha images to reflect each day of the week, actually there are 8 and one is not represented with a day.
The days are also each assigned a different color and many Thai people pay special attention to this. The most visible example is the wearing of yellow shirts on Mondays to honor HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Likewise, you will see many blue shirts each Friday as that was the day of the week that HM Queen Sirikit was born. Even the different royal flags are colored to reflect individual birthdays of the royal family.
We only bought some images for the girls, and since they are born on a Saturday, I'll give you the info on this day, but if you are more interested in the day you were born, check out this website here.
Saturday is the Day of Protection and uses the colors of black or purple.
The image shows the Buddha in meditation and protected from tempest by the King of the Naga, Mucalinda, a coiled snake. The Naga appears since ancient Egypt as a force of good and is even used today as a symbol of medicine amongst other things. The image is related to the moment when a Naga spread its hood to protect the Buddha from a rainstorm while he was in profound meditation.
This person is calm, logical and a bit of a recluse. He is very likely engaged in manual work of a skilled nature. The lucky day is Friday and the lucky color is blue. The unlucky day is Wednesday during the daytime with the unlucky color of green.
This was just part of the day, the rest I will post more about tomorrow.
Have a great weekend!