Posted on 10/06/2008

Photo taken on January  1, 2000

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Thailand and its tradition Thailand and its tradition

Thailand : Peaceful Isaan Thailand : Peaceful Isaan

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Nakhon Phanom
That Phanom

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In the yard of That Phanom

In the yard of That Phanom
That Phanom is also considered an important sacred site because of its listing among the twelve pilgrimage centers of the twelve-year animal cycle. This calendar system, known in Thai as naksat pi, is based on a duodenary cycle of years, each year being associated with a particular animal. The naksat pi system has been in use among the northern Thai since at least the thirteenth century, when they emerged as the dominant people of the area, yet most likely it dates from a much earlier period. In the Yuan tradition of Theravada Buddhism in northern Thailand, it is considered beneficial for a person to make a pilgrimage to that shrine which corresponds to the year of his or her birth. It is usual for the pilgrimage to be taken on the birth date of the person and particularly on the anniversary of the same year of the twelve-year cycle in which they were born (for example, their thirty-sixth or forty-eighth birthday). While at the shrine the pilgrim will utilize the services of a Buddhist monk to conduct the sup chata ritual which is believed to strengthen the pilgrim’s khwan or vital force, ensure their long life, gain merit, and attract the blessings of various pre-Buddhist and Buddhist spirits. These twelve shrines are also considered highly sacred because of their association with the life of the Buddha. According to legendary sources, seven of the shrines were visited by the Buddha, four were not visited by the Buddha but contain his relics, and the fifth, mysteriously, is in heaven. Historically, it is known that a number of these shrines are connected in legend with pre-Buddhist kingdoms and were therefore recognized as sacred places long before they became associated with the life of the Buddha.

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