Increase or decrease font size for easier reading :
In a Thai temple, the "BOT" (โบสถ์) is
the finest building where monks are assembled for religious rites
(สังฆกรรม) such as morning
and evening prayers, ordination. It is the most sacred part of the temple.
The "BOT" is also called ceremonial hall.
For the installation of a "CHO FA" on a temple roof, there
is a specific Buddhist ceremony. This ceremony is called
"YOK CHO FA" (พิธียกช่อฟ้า).
On that day, Thai people come to the temple
to make money donations. Some families bring a money tree.
Roof of "BOT" (โบสถ์)
is often made of red tiles. The number of
stack of roofs are always odd ( 3, 5, 7, 9 ). Odd number are supposed
to be lucky. "CHO FA" (ช่อฟ้า) is the
elongated and elaborately carved apex on the gable of a Buddhist temple. It is
believed to represent the mythical Garuda.
People add colorful ribbons around the "CHO FA" and make
a Thai greeting ("WAI" - ไหว้).
They bless the carved apex by sprinkling
lustral water (NAM MON - น้ำมนต์) on it.
Raising the "CHO FA" or "CHORFAH"
is the last merit making event in the process of building the ceremonial hall.
Then Thai people gather in the temple around the monks in order to listen to the Dharma.
The "CHO FA" can be seen as a simplified form of a Garuda
or a Naga.
Once the Buddhist sermon is over and the temple abbot has hit the gong,
the "CHO FA" is brought from the ground to the sky thanks to a pulley mechanism.
The "UBASOK" (อุบาสก)
are men of faith / laymen and "UBASIKA" (อุบาสิกา)
are women of faith / laywomen.
Once it reaches the roof, the "CHO FA" is fixed to the gable of the temple.
The colorful and sacred ribbons are removed and thrown away. Thai people try to get
the falling sacred ribbons.
It is the funniest (สนุก
- "SANUK") part of the ceremony when children and adults play in order to
get the biggest number of ribbons.
It is still a long way before this Buddhist temple has a complete consecration.
Many Buddhist ceremonies will happen.
Another "CHO FA" (ช่อฟ้า)
waiting for a ceremony in order to be installed on a temple roof.