Thailand

Rocket of Mon

"Rat" lighting is a rare ritual in the funeral ceremonies for Mon monks. The 'rat'is a wooden box containing gunpowder. The ritual begins when a person lights ignites the rat and runs with it to the crematorium. It is rare because it is reserved for the funerals of revered monks of Mon descent or the abbots of temples in Mon communities.There are no funerals scheduled for any senior monks this year.For this reason, Pathum Thani province has tried to preserve the rat-lighting ritual by staging the ``Giant Rats'' event that featured the demonstration of ``rat'' making and an exhibition on the history of the ritual.The Giant Rats event was held at the activity ground of tambon Ban Chang in Pathum Thani's Muang district.More than 20 rat-making teams from Pathum Thani and nearby provinces joined the event, making around 300 rats of one to 1.5 metres long. Photos by Chanat Katanyu 

Published: 23 Apr 2011