Thailand’s annual poi sang long festival, which occurs in the first week of April, celebrates the ordination of ethnic Shan boys to the Theravada Buddhist order. For three days, these sang long, or “jeweled sons,” are dressed in bright colours and adorned in flowers and make up, and then carried on the shoulders of relatives to the wat pa pao temple in Chiang Mai, where they will adopt the monk’s traditional saffron robes. The ritual is meant to mimic the Buddha’s renunciation of his life of material luxury as prince Siddhartha.
photos by (click pic) pongmanat tasiri, robert fuller and jack kurtz. (more novice monk photos)