We arranged it so that when we are in Pattaya our good friend Namphet and her family would also be there on vacation. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. She used to work for us while we lived in Pattaya from 1999-2003, but we became such a good friends and now she feels like family! Thanks to Namphet we have our beautiful girls JJ & Jezz, since she is the one who connected us with the Bmother. So we are sharing lots of history together.
We decided to go and visit the girls Bmother on this day, but unfortunately she didn't live anymore at the house she used to and where the girls were born. Eventually we found her and met her again, but this I keep private and will not blog about. But in the meantime we had some time over and Namphet mentioned that she wanted to make Merritt at the Big Buddha and I thought it was a great idea, since she could show the girls how all the Buddhist rituals are done. We normally visit temples and show our respect but have not really any clue what it all means and how to do it properly. So this was a perfect opportunity to do so!!
First the girls went into this small temple on the food of the stairs where a monk is sitting inside and you make Merritt. The girls lighted some incense and candles and did their prayers. Namphet explained them everything along the way, and JJ and Jezz followed her example.
Then they represented some money and a basket full of necessities for the monks. The monk took a special interest in the girls since he wondered why they didn't speak any Thai. Namphet explained and he really liked the fact that we tried to educated JJ and Jezz as much as possible. He did a prayer for everybody in the room.
Then Namphet & the girls filled some sort of tea cups with water, asked the monk to bless them and the water.
And watered the holy tree outside the temple with the blessed water. Now the girls and the holy tree were blessed!
We purchased a little cage with 9 birds inside (9-for good luck) to let them free on the top of the hill. One for the girls and one for Namphet. She needs her own good luck :-) The stairs leading up to the Big Buddha Monument are guarded by two dragons. Their purpose to stop any bad spirits following you up.
Here we go... up the stairs. It was a very hot day and those stairs were killing us!
Namphet let her birds free, and then when it was JJ and Jezz's turn a little stray temple cat sneaked up on them and snatched one of the birds before it could fly away! We were shocked and didn't know what to say... Having 8 birds let to freedom gives you that bad luck, or just a little less luck?? At least the cat got LUCKY!! ....OOPSY!!
On the top of the stairs is another small temple where you can make Merritt for your own Buddha depending on the day you are born. So that's what JJ & Jezz did, for Saturdays Buddha. I forgot what Namphet's Buddha was.
Look at Jezz, praying real hard! I guess she had a wish that she wanted to fulfill real bad :-)
Putting some gold leafs on the statues of the monks, for more good luck!
And last but not least, shaking the wooden sticks. These are long flat strips of wood numbered 1 - 28 placed in a circular container, shake up and down until one jumps out. When you have the number read the charts on the wall, this will be your destiny.
Jezz is on a mission to have all the good luck in the world, look at how she shakes so vigorously! This girl is too funny!
Dependant on the day which you were born you have your own guardian Buddha.
Mondays Buddha - will bring you peace.
Tuesdays Buddha - will give you peaceful sleep.
Wednesdays Buddha - means you are a giving person.
Thursdays Buddha - allows you peace of mind to meditate.
Fridays Buddha - will give you happiness.
Saturdays Buddha - will ensure your protection from the elements.
Sundays Buddha - will search for the needy and care for them.
Dirk and me just watched the whole ceremony, filmed and took pictures and were grateful that Namphet could educate JJ and Jezz about the principals of Buddhism and what to do when you like to make Merritt in a Thai Temple. Such a great experience and such a special day for us in many ways!
Khap Khun Kha Namphet!! We LOVE you!