Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

                                      New Year's Day in Phuket

Those of you who know Jai realise she is proudly Buddhist  but, like most Thais, firmly believes that the world is inhabited by a multitude of spirits. These spirits are everywhere...and they're not all friendly! Therefore it is very important to make sure the ones that are potentially friendly are appeased on a regular basis. Jai will be seen praying to the Guardian Spirit of our house everyday....we have a special Spirit House for this purpose with a table upon which to place a daily offering of food and drink. Our car also has a Guardian Spirit and Jai places flowers and burns incense to it every day....and, bearing in mind the insane driving  on the Thai roads, I am more than happy if she can keep the car's Guardian Spirit on our side!

Phuket has a Guardian Spirit known as Lak Muang. There are four 'Spirit Houses' on the Island of Phuket dedicated to Lak Muang. We visited one of these yesterday....and it wasn't very easy to find! However, find it we did lurking in the Thep Krasattri Subdistrict of Phuket Island and Jai bought all sorts of offerings from the old lady in the Offering Shop to present to Lak Muang.

Jai is never happier that when she's bought a bundle of offerings....


And here we are at the Sam Phra Phum (Spirit House) of Lak Muang
Praying to Lak Muang to keep us and all our guests who are coming to vivit us in 2013 safe! See how The Jai thinks of you all?
You might be able to pick out the elephant and the little figures by it...Thai culture is heavily influenced by Hinduism and the colours, flowers, figures all come out of Indian mythology and beliefs.
We bought our own Sam Phra Phum some lights this year....and they went on last night for the first time. The lights blew the first couple of times we turned them on...Jai was convinced that our Guardian Spirit didn't want to be lit up....but it seems that after a bit of a discussion together our Spirit is now happy with the improvements.
We ended up on Patong Beach for midnight last night. Crap photo....but we watched literally thousands of Fire Lanterns (komlois) being released into the night sky over Patong Bay. It was VERY impressive...and the fireworks were incredible. An excellent night with a very amiable atmosphere about the place.

And today....the alarm went off at 6 a.m. and Jai was off to the Temple, to give alms to the monks and then off to Phuket Town to pay her respects to the main Spirit Temple dedicated to Lak Muang.

It's all entertaining!!!! I devoted myself to Pra Athid today (the sun God) and lazed about on a sunbed and in the pool savouring the occasional Amber Nectar. Well, we all have our different ways of celebrating the start of the New Year, don't we....and I hope yours was a good one too!!!!

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