Buddhist Funeral in Thailand

When someone dies, the corpse is kept for 7 days before cremation. During six of the seven evenings, monks come and pray. The funeral ceremony is not a very sad event. Crying is discouraged during the funeral, so as not to worry the spirit of the deceased. Corpse is burned to allow the spirit to escape. In April, it was a ceremony for my father-in-law’s uncle, and I was invited.

Monks
Monks at Thai funeral.

Coffin and flowers Thai funeral
Coffin and flowers at a Thai funeral.
Monks prayers Thai funeral
Monks prayers.

Guests dressed in black or white at Thai funeral
Guests, often dressed in either black or white or a combination of the two.
My wife and her family at Thai funeral
My wife and her family. My father-in-law is holding a picture of his deceased uncle.
Little girl at Thai funeral
During the ceremony, all guests have hand palms closed doing the Thai greeting “WAI” gesture during the monks prayers. Monks prayers are about the impermanence of life.
The coffin is carried to the cremation, led by a monk
The coffin is carried to the cremation, led by a monk.
A Thai funeral pyre
A Thai funeral pyre. The corpse is burned to release the spirit, which continues onto the next stage of the after life.
Thai style chimney on the crematory roof
Thai style chimney on the crematory roof.

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