Sacred threads, or “Sai Sin” as they’re known in Thai, are probably best known for their use as string bracelets occasionally picked up by tourists and travellers on their travels. But these meager cuts of string bracelet often come from a much longer string that has been blessed by monks in Buddhist ritual. I come across these rituals umpteen times throughout the book, so much that they’re not really mentioned for most. The most extravagant example would be during Songkran when we are part of a ceremony at ‘the big temple’. When we arrive we find that threads have been strung through the rafters of the temple to connect the congregation with the monks at the front. There’s a kind of grid made above the congregation and pieces of string dangle down to those in the congregation. The congregation then tie these strings to heads or wrists or anywhere really, and connects and channels the good karma from prayer to everyone in the temple. When the ceremony ends the congregation will take apart the grid of string and pocket it for later when they will likely use them to make shorter lengths for string bracelets.
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