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15 June 2013

Phra Buddha Sothorn


Never in my life have I worn so much jewelry as I have during my wedding. Strangest sensation. There I was squatting on a wooden floor, hands clasped in prayer wondering what was going on while  nine monks chanted Pali in my clueless face for three straight hours. It was a Buddhist ceremony. The almighty (ex)Mom-in-law orchestrated the entire event. I did nothing but marry her son. 


While barefoot the rest of my body was bedecked with 24K gold jewelry. Well, except the silk skirt which was heavy with hundreds of rhinestones sewn around a foot high above the hem. I don't think I will ever go through such wedding garb again. But I'm keeping the rock (ring is studded with six dots of diamond) and this-


This pendant is a replica of Phra Buddha Sothorn or Luang Phor Sothorn which is the religious symbol of Chachoengsao, the city where the then husband and his family come from. In Christian countries Phra Buddha Sothorn is like a patron saint of a town or province. 

Here's a description of the Phra Buddha Sothon from ThaiGold

"Luang Phor Sothon is one of the most revered Buddha images in Thailand. The image is in the attitude of meditation, measuring 1.65 meters wide at the lap and 1.98 meters high. According to the legend, Phra Buddha Sothorn was the youngest of three brothers. They were created by Hindu priests. It was believed that the owners of these three images were three millionaires in the North. Over a hundred years ago, a miracle happened when the three brothers escaped the blazing ancient capital of Ayutthaya by walking down to the Ping River, heading southward, where they were swept away. 

The eldest one floated down to the Gulf of Thailand and along the coast to Samut Songkram and has stayed there since. The second one floated along Samrong Canal to Bangphli in Samutprakarn.  After a group of people there paid respect and used sai sin, a long white thread, to pull him ashore, he remained there since then. The youngest, Phra Buddha Sothorn, was swept down thru Bang Prakong River to Chachoengsao. He has been there since then. 

Two annual fairs celebrating the image fall on the 5th and 12th lunar months (around April and November). It is believed that once Phra Buddha Sothorn halted the deadly epidemic in Chachoengsao province after vows of appeasement were made to him. Thais believe that whatever good wishes people make to Phra Buddha Sothorn, he will grant and make their wish come true."

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12 comments:

  1. An interesting piece of jewelry.

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  2. Welcome back to Sepia Saturday, Hazel. I think you may get the prize for the most jewellery this week.

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    1. :) fun Brett, thanks. I've been busy like crazy.

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  3. Hi Hazel a Sparkling Return!:)

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  4. Wow. So much symbolism. Totally out of my anglo-saxon experience.

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  5. I can see why you are keeping the pendant.

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  6. Oh my goodness, how wonderful and what an experience, even from here!

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  7. I think you beat even the prompt girl in the portrait for jewelry. Interesting story of the three princes.

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  8. You must have felt like a queen outfitted in all those jewels for THREE hours! Now that's a ceremony! Glad to see you back.

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  9. Thank you for this story Hazel and you wonderful description of the wedding. It's what makes Sepia Saturday so interesting when we get such a range of contributions from a single prompt.I think Brett's right you get the prize for most jewels (including my royal example!).

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  10. Any chance you got to weigh yourself when bedecked with so much finer? I imagine there was a certain relief when you took it off, but the sorrow that perhaps you'll never be that glittery again.

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