Monk's funeral draws thousands

Monk's funeral draws thousands

Mourners pack the crematorium at Buddhamonthon in Khon Kaen, where the revered abbot Luang Phor Koon Parisutho is to be cremated on Tuesday. The crematorium sits on the mythical bird Nok Hassadeelink (centre) which the faithful believe will fly the monk's soul to heaven. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Mourners pack the crematorium at Buddhamonthon in Khon Kaen, where the revered abbot Luang Phor Koon Parisutho is to be cremated on Tuesday. The crematorium sits on the mythical bird Nok Hassadeelink (centre) which the faithful believe will fly the monk's soul to heaven. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Tens of thousands of people flocked to Khon Kaen Sunday to pay their last respects to the revered abbot Luang Phor Koon Parisutho ahead of a royally sponsored cremation at the Buddhamonthon in Muang district tomorrow where an even bigger crowd is expected.

People arrived in the early hours yesterday at Wat Nong Waeng temple, located behind the Buddhamonthon. The temple has been designated as a location for laying chan funeral flowers.

The sheer magnitude of people forced the temple to open its gates at 6am, much earlier than usual.

Luang Phor Koon, the former abbot of Wat Ban Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima's Dan Khun Thod district, died in 2015 at the age of 91. He instructed that his body be donated to Khon Kaen University for medical students to study.

From Sunday morning onwards, the Khon Kaen-Kalasin bypass, the main route leading to the Buddhamonthon, as well as surrounding roads, were bumper-to-bumper. The traffic woe was made worse as a number of roads had been closed for a marathon run.

Khemchat Somchaiwong, president of Khon Kaen's chamber of commerce, said that although traffic ground to a halt, Luang Phor Koon's funeral has been a boon to the province's economy.

Hundreds of thousands more people are expected to turn up tomorrow for the cremation, hotel and apartments are fully booked, and most restaurants are enjoying a brisk trade, he said.

Mr Khemchat said that between 20% and 30% of mourners are from outside of Khon Kaen, meaning that about 20,000 people will spend the night in Khon Kaen before or after the funeral.

On Sunday alone, at Wat Ban Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima, more than 100,000 people laid their chan flowers at the temple's crematorium where a wax model of Luang Phor Koon has been installed for his followers to pay their last respects.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (9)

Iraq jails YouTuber, TikToker over 'indecent' videos

A court in Baghdad has sentenced two Iraqis to prison time over "indecent" videos on social media that "undermine modesty and public morality", the judiciary said Wednesday.

8 Feb 2023

Sontaya 'group of 12' to join Pheu Thai

A group of 12 politicians led by veteran Chon Buri politician and former Pattaya mayor Sontaya Kunplome will contest the general election under the Pheu Thai Party banner.

8 Feb 2023

Putin 'likely approved MH17 missile supply'

THE HAGUE: There are "strong indications" that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally approved the supply of the missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, international investigators said on Wednesday.

8 Feb 2023