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House Blessing Ceremony


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Hello Group,

Looking for info on the Thai ceremony when the monks come from the temple to pass a blessing on to a new house. The new house is almost done, and we will do the ceremony soon. I'm going to talk some more with my fiancee' about the whole affair, but any advice from the forum would be helpful.

I have a few vague details like the monks will probably come early in the morning, perform their ceremony and then go. After that I'm told there will be a bit of a party to celebrate.

But there are a lot of things I don't know or understand:

- What is the formal name for the ceremony? (transliteration + thai script spelling would be nice)

- What is a typical gift (money and/or food) for the monks for services rendered. Is it customary to feed them before or after the ceremony?

- Should I expect the monks to come and go early?

- How much is enough in terms of food and/or drink for the party? (yeah I know I expect someone to say "there is never enough" but I have to be realistic somehow)

The event will probably be on a Thursday. With this being the case, I don't know if I should expect a big turnout for the party or expect people to stay very late.

The village is not too big, perhaps a couple hundred people altogether. Not sure if I should expect any or all to stop by.

We are situated sort of in the middle of the triangle formed by Taphan Hin, Phichit and Phetchabun. If there are any TVF members in the area who may be interested in stopping by to say hello, then PM me for some details.

TIA for any advice that anyone would care to offer.

Cheers,

Spee สพี :o

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Spee, no advice...but we are doing it soon too. Great topic, I will be watching it with interest. I will Pm you soon (let us know when) and hopefully we can come along. As you are invited to our ceremony/party.

We are actually going to combine our marriage party with the house party, so if anyone has any experience with the both please let us know.

tukyleith C/O Spee

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When we did it, as far as I can remember, we had to collect the monks at about 8.00am. They did their bits with the Sai-Sin and chanting etc. We fed them at about 11.00am and returned them to the Wat. by mid day.

There was also a Bramin priest involved in the ceremony from the start.

Amount of food and booze will depend on number of guests!

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There is no set name for the ceremony. The idea is that when starting a new home you begin by doing good deeds (horribly translated as 'merit making') so you invite monks to come to your home and chant some of the Buddha's suttas. When they do this they will first invite the Devas to come and listen - the third monk behind the fan does this. Inviting Devas to your home is auspicious.

They chant (suat mon (mon=mantra)) for about an hour - 10-11am and then you feed them. Put out lots of food as you will all share in this meal after the monks have finished. The chanting is connected by a white cord to a container of water which, through the chanting is then considered holy water and the head monk will then sprinkle it around the house. He may well write or stick some auspicious symbols in certain areas such at the door ways.

The same proceedure can be held for any reason you choose - an annual alms giving, special Thai day, anniversaries etc.. I wouldn't worry about what you have to do - the Thai's will arrange everything, you just follow their lead. A new house in Thai culture is a bigger thing than in the west - Thai's do not move house regularlry like westerners and the Thai family will not really feel the new home has begun until the monks have given it the blessing. You should arrange transport for them to come and return. After the monks go you all have your shindig.

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Our House Blessing Ceremony was a big affair about a year ago. But it does not have to be like that. This what we had going:

The party started the day before with people comming from the village to help prepare the food for the next day. There was music at high volume (more noise = sanuk maak maak) and beer all around. First day ended around 20:00. The next day (the 9th) started at 05:00 again with music for the village to hear. Food was served from about 08:00 and anybody was welcome to attend. No invitations was sent or extended. People just came by. A Bramin Priest arrived just before 09:00 when the ceremony started with a walk around the house three times. We had to enter the house at exactly 09:00 and a ceremony followed exactly like our wedding ceremony. We had to get dressed up in the same way and did all the same sort of things. Later my wife explained that we were now married for a second time.

Nine monks arrived from the local temple at around 10:00. They did their chants and was served very formally. Then the chief monk did his blessing on the house which included sprinkling with water and drawing signs on the front door. He entered the house and did the same for the bedrooms. The monks all left at about 12:00.

Then the BIG party started. In the evening, we had a typical stage show with a life band and dancing and singing that went on right through the night until dawn the next morning. There was many, many people. Even the chief of police for the region and some other government officials came around and made speeches and had a couple of drinks.

In all - it was a big event and cost a lot of money. But, like I said, it doesn't have to be this big. A small ceremony is fine.

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The day before most of the neighbours (women) came and cooked all night.

Also, we went to the wat and arranged with the monks for 8am next morning and took the gear (vases, pots, mats..) they will need for the ceremony.

Next morning 7:30 I went to the wat and brought six monks to the house.

They chanted, sat ate and it was all done in about 2 hours.

I took them and their gear back, all they took from the house were pots with food for other monks. No money.

The neighbours ate after that and the scene was all clean by midday.

There was alcohol but no big consumption. No party in the evening.

The whole thing cost under 3000B.

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The day before most of the neighbours (women) came and cooked all night.

Also, we went to the wat and arranged with the monks for 8am next morning and took the gear (vases, pots, mats..) they will need for the ceremony.

Next morning 7:30 I went to the wat and brought six monks to the house.

They chanted, sat ate and it was all done in about 2 hours.

I took them and their gear back, all they took from the house were pots with food for other monks. No money.

The neighbours ate after that and the scene was all clean by midday.

There was alcohol but no big consumption. No party in the evening.

The whole thing cost under 3000B.

Mine was very simular to this, but it was for opening the farm, we've never done a house one as the house was already here.

I have been to a few though and they can vary from fairly small to big depending on how much the people want to spend

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Great topic , I will also be watching this closely . We are having ours mid January . What I know so far is that the 9 monks will come about 5:00 am . Most everyone will also show up at that time ... Big blank period ... Im not sure what will happen next . later more people will come and we will eat . This we are having catered . To many people coming to cook for , about 150 , ten to a table , 2000 baht per table . What I do know is that we can not move in ( sleep there ) until this is done .

They keep me rather removed from all the details , except when the bill comes . I was told that its to hard to explain everything . Oh yeah , booze is extra and the monks get 1000 each .

Good luck to you Spee , I wish you many , many happy years in your new home .

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Thanks all for the input so far. I have to talk some more with my fiancee' about it, but I'm thinking this will not be a huge blowout, and more on the smaller scale. That is one of the reasons for having it during the week.

It will be cool for the local people to come around and have some food and drink. They have been very nice to me, especially the closest neighbors and friends of my fiancee's mother. However, I don't want it to get completely out of hand in terms of the booze and number of people.

One person mention that 1000TB per envelope per monk. Seven to nine monks @ $25US per is about $200. While I have the money, that seems very high to me. Does anyone else have any other advice?

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We did the ceremony January this year. The link posted in an earlier reply gives you a very good idea about the whole thing.

We picked up the 7 monks from the temple at 7 am (GF wanted nine, but this Moo-baan only has seven). They sat along the wall in the main room blessed us (-the couple with the "holy" water and then ate. A lot of food was cooked (my GF and sisters started cooking about 3am) with the "leftovers" eaten by anyone who wanted to come along for a free feed. The whole thing was over and done with by 11am.

Every envelope for the monks contained 500 Baht and they also wanted a microphone/amplifier for the temple as a donation (350 Baht).

I'll try and post a couple of pictures from the ceremony on my "blog".

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One person mention that 1000TB per envelope per monk. Seven to nine monks @ $25US per is about $200. While I have the money, that seems very high to me.

It seems high to me too :o

No matter how big or how small the party is , it will be a time to remember . With friends and family in celebration of your new home . And they bring gifts !

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At such a ceremony I was at last year, they had 9 monks (8+ Abbot)

The Abbot got 1000 in a white envelope, the other 8 got 500 each in a white envelope... Pretty much like p1p described, including a Brahmin priest. Not sure how much he got

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