Yesterday we went to Tasanai’s Uncle’s Cremation in Lampang. His Uncle died last week after suffering with cancer for quite a while. I am developing the images and video right now, but it will take several says to complete.
Thai Cremations are similar to Irish Wakes. For 2 days there is a meeting of relatives, with music and food as they prepare for the Cremation itself. The Cremation day started off with food and music and about 12 noon they started the procession to the Temple with the casket carriage. This large beautiful carriage, made of teak and containing the casket is pulled by a long rope by everyone at the ceremony. The Temple was 1 Km up the road and police blocked off a portion of the highway so we could pass. At the temple, prayers were said and then the fireworks began – a series of rockets on wires were set up around the Temple grounds ending at the funeral pyre – a open raised pit for the actual burning. When lit, the rockets travelled around the grounds with a loud noise and lots of smoke – then set afire the casket area. They also had several fireworks in bamboo columns that emitted coloured smoke and made unique loud sounds like elephants make – these were on either side of the pyre and when lit they engulphed the whole pyre in smoke. Right after this ceremony everyone left so as to allow the deceased to leave – this was necessary because if they had stayed there the spirit could not leave.
I hope this makes sense – I am not a writer and definitely not a story teller – Comment me for more info – I will try to post some pictures in a few days.