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Poi Sang Long

Photographer: Rungroj Yongrit


Poi Sang Long is a Buddhist novice ordination ceremony. The festival is the custom and tradition of the ethnic Tai Yai tribe who migrated to Nepal from Shan state, Myanmar.


The ritual ceremonies begin with the boys having their eyebrows and heads shaved by monks and parents before being bathed and anointed with sacred water.


The three-day ceremonies start early morning at the temple where the young boys are made up and outfitted with magnificent costumes. They are then dubbed Sang Long meaning Crystal Son or Jewel Son and start a colorful procession. The boys are carried on the shoulders of attendants because their feet should not touch the ground except in the temple or at home.


The boys are carried in procession around the town to pay respect, beg pardon and receive blessings from their friends and relatives. Once again on the second day the grand colored parade held in the morning is attended by family members.


On the third day all the young participants are taken to the monastery for the ordination ritual and the crystal sons change their clothes to the saffron robes and are ordained as novices. Poi Sang Long is held annually in late March or early of April all over northern Thailand's border provinces near Shan state, Myanmar.