Bangkok Photo Friday: Becoming a Monk

Things to Do — By Kevin Revolinski on December 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Monks are highly revered in Thai society. One offers them seats on the bus or train. In the mornings, the monks collect food and other daily living items as they pass through the streets. And women are never supposed to touch a monk or even hand him an item directly. Monkhood is a serious ordination, but not all monks are in this for life.

Today’s photos are of an ordination of a Thai boy. This boy will likely study and live as a monk for just a few months. The belief is that a boy is not a man until he has done this service and in so doing it, he is honoring his parents. Traditionally, it is a three-month duration though nowadays it may be less. Even the King did this sacred journey.

Here a young boy waits beneath the shade of a large umbrella to have his head and eyebrows shaved.

The monks will finish the job, but the first locks of hair are cut away by members of the boy’s family.

This ordination was taking place at Wat Suthat, a very important temple in Bangkok, right next to the Giant Swing.

Tags: bangkok, buddhism, buddhist, cutting hair, monk, ordination, wat suthat


  • courtney says:

    i am learning about monks in school and i have to make a poster about monks nowadays so can someone help me please i just need to know what they do !!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Kevin Revolinski says:

    Hahaha! But you have the internet! Imagine looking all that stuff up in a card catalog, searching for books, magazines on a microfiche viewer! So easy now! :P

    Here’s one decent link

    They also bless homes, new cars, pray at weddings and funerals, etc. Good luck!


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