Our condo building had a merit making ceremony over the weekend. Tamboon baan, a merit making ceremony for the home (baan = home), for everything-good in the year ahead. Tamboon baan is also held when one move into a new house, or when the need arises.
Shoo the bad, come the good.
I woke up bright early, as 7.00am was the indicative time at the notice board.
6.50am, and I went down to our condo lobby. Too early. Only staff around, busy with preparation work. In addition to the tamboon baan ceremony, there was also a separate event, our condo’s Annual General Meeting. The staff were busy setting up the place, and also preparing food. Crystal-clear gender separation: only females were tasked with food prep.
I was roped into helping on food preparation. So there I go … chop, chop, chopping spring onions and corianders. I was the only resident helping, the rest are all staff. And I am a foreigner somemore. Go figure.
7.35am, and chopping work completed. Still no sign of the tamboon ceremony starting anytime soon. I was told that the ceremony will start before 8am.
5 minutes before 8am, and the monks arrived.
The chanting lasted for about half an hour or so. I put my hands together in a praying-like gesture, like the locals.
And then the monks had their meal for 15 minutes or so.
After the meal, the monks were given ‘gifts or offerings‘ as a sign of appreciation. These items were daily necessities for the monks, and red packets were also given. These gifts were all bundled up, and kept in big-sized plastic bags, for the monks to bring back to their temple.
After gift-giving, the chanting continued for another 10 minutes.
The head monk then proceed to bless the residents, and condo with holy water. Splassshhh … I came back to our room, excited like a child, “our home is blessed!”
Not many residents participated in the ceremony, around 10+ people altogether. During the ceremony, people slowly trickling in. Given that the ceremony is held at our condo premise itself, there is no reason to be late, no? Show some respects to such an auspicious ceremony please.
Everyone seemed to be know what to do, when to help, etc … part and parcel of Thai’s traditional customs.