This past week my Thai family held a Gratin Ceremony for their grandma. She has been sick for over a month and they wanted to make merit in hopes of improving her health. I found out that a Gratin ceremony is held during the buddhist lent. Each person hopes to do a ceremony once in their life and they get their family and friends to help them. All of the money collected is donated to a wat, in ceremony style of course.
We spent the evening before and the morning of the first day of the ceremony making flowers and trees out of money. The tree in the picture held 10,000 baht! All in all, they gave 108,899 baht (about $2,700)!
The first day they invited all of their friends and family (that weren't already involved setting everything up) for a dinner. Before the dinner they had monks over to the house. They give gifts to the monks and the monks chant blessings. They set up a big tent and lots of tables for everyone to eat and serve lots of food. There is a box where all the friends can donate money.
The second day they were up at 5am
preparing the food.
I joined them at 7am and we loaded all the gifts for the wat into trucks. We drove out to the wat and set up the gift table.
The monks are always served food first, while everyone sits in the polit
e position and waits.
When the monks are finished, then everyone enjoys breakfast.
The food was delicious.
Those who didn’t know me were surprised that I chose to eat sticky rice over regular rice.
They think that foreigners won’t like it because the rest of Thailand
eats regular rice.
It is believed to be an Issan food.
After breakfast they did the ceremony of offering the gifts and money to the wat.
Lots of chanting and wai-ing.
Each wat is only allowed to have one Gratin a year. I was very lucky to be here when my Thai family did this ceremony.