Poy Sang Long ( The Young Novices Ordination)
Poy Sang Long is a very common name of the ordination ceremony for the young boys in the Northern part of Thailand ( Mainly from Mae Hongson area). The people in Mae Hongson province are Thai and The Tai-Yai who immigrate from Myanmar border long time ago and settle down in Mae Hongson due to it is closes to the border between Thailand and Myanmar. Many of them became Thai citizen and live in Thailand.
In the summer time especially at the end of March and the early of April as the Thai believe as the starter of the Thai New Year and also the summer holiday for the young kids in the family as well. In the pass , there were no school for the kids. The boys would became the young novices and learnt in the temple area. The girls would be home with their parents to learn all house work and crafts. This tradition has pass from generations to generations for many years. Now the modern way of life has change the kids lives and they have more right and opportunity to study in school. However in the summer break, instead of let them running around and being naughty. Parents love to send them to the temple to learn about the religion and practice themselves.
Pong Sang Long is part of the tradition and the life style which people still keep and continue in the northern part of Thailand as well as the ordination process of the young Thai boys in the Buddhism. ( Mostly called ” Samanern Rudo Ron” – The young novices summer course)
However the Poy Sang Long ( The Ordination ceremony for the young boys to become the novices) would be more special and more colorful which you couldn’t stand still and not taking photos. The young boys from 6 -15 years old mostly attend in this Buddhism summer course. Parents are going to dress them up as the young princes with colorful costumes as the represent of Prince Sittata who decided to learn and became the Lord Buddha at the end. However the course for the boys would be shorter and it is not for the whole lives.
The wouldn’t touch the ground after they’re ready in the costumes . riding on the horses or on the man’s shoulders ( Mostly on daddy ‘s shoulders ) and heading to the temple. You could see the smiles as well as tears of happiness from their families to see them become novices. This kid of the ceremony, you could see in the northern part of Thailand mainly in Mae Hongson as well as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai the first weeks before the Thai New Year of Songkran Festival starts. They would spend their times in the temples 1-2 weeks and they could quit and return to their childhood lives again.