A ceremony to mark 100 days since the passing of the late King Rama IX was held at Wat Suan Dok and lead by Governor of Chiang Mai earlier this evening. As Honorary Consul I was invited, to represent Australia, to pay respects along with other members of the Consular Corps, honoured quests, many Government officials and other representatives of the Chiang Mai community.

The 100 day ceremony is a Buddhist death ritual where prayers for the dead are chanted to gain merit for the departed spirit. This is believed to help shorten the time spent by the spirit in any of the Buddhist realms in which that spirit may find itself. Buddhists believe that death is not the end of life but simply an essential part of the process of rebirth.

Myself and Ace attended the formal ceremony that involved 10 monks chanting with the Governor performing rituals and, along with other representatives, making merit. It was a privilege to attend this ceremony and to be part of local Thai community honouring their departed King.

Wat Suan Dok (or roughly translated “flower garden temple”) is also known as Wat Buppharam. It was reportedly founded by King Kue Na of Lanna in the year 1370. The large 48 meter high bell-shaped chedi is noted to be built in a Sri Lankan style. The relic of the Buddha is said to be contained within. A grouping of white washed mausoleums, which house the cremation ashes of members of the royal family of Chiang Mai, is in the northwestern quarter of the temple grounds.