Already starting” KKU celebrates the Great 2024 Songkran – the 5th Merit Making, with Buddha Bucha Somma Avuso Procession – Isan former culture

Wednesday April 10, 2024 – Khon Kaen University held an event to foster the traditional merit, “Heet 12 Khong 14”. The event is called the 5th Merit Making, with Buddha Bucha Somma Avuso Procession of 2024. The procession was led by Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of Khon Kaen University Council; Mr. Panthep Saokosol, Khon Kaen Vice Governor; Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University; members of the KKU Council; administrators, lecturers, senior lecturers and staff, students, and personnel. Joining the event also were Mo Lam artists and people from the community around KKU campus. All were dressed in colorful flower-pattern attires and Thai dresses. The event took place at the area of Art and Cultural Center (by Si Than Lake), Khon Kaen University.

The activities began at 16:30 p.m., with the ritual for fate under the astrology. The event, succeeding the Isan tradition, was presided over by Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of Khon Kaen University Council. This was followed by the lighting ritual of candles and incense sticks to pay homage to Luang Po Pra Sri 50-year KKU, the sprinkling of water on the duplicated Phra That Panom, and Phra Buddhasilpa. Next, Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University, led the personnel and students to make request for forgiveness to the seniors, after which by Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee and Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul led students of the following faculties in the procession: Faculty of Multidisciplinary Sciences, Nongkhai campus, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Engineering. Next, the President performed the ritual of water sprinkling to ask for luck from the seniors, presented gifts to Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee and the seniors. All watched the processions of different faculties and the ceremony ended with flower offering to 9 monks and decoration of the 12 astrological pagodas, according to Isan tradition.

Assoc. Prof. Niyom Wongpongkham, Ph.D., Vice President for Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Khon Kaen University explained that this event is during the 5th month or April, which is very hot. In the past, Thai people lifestyle was attached to water. Therefore, water is used to do away with the heat this month, in accordance with the belief and the daily life. The ancient tradition and culture is being inherited, and Khon Kaen University sees the importance of the ancient tradition by organizing different activities all through the past years, especially the holding of the 5th month merit making, with Buddha Bucha Somma Avuso Procession. The ceremony is meant to build love and unity along with succeeding of ancient culture.

“The 5th month merit is considered the Thai New Year. Therefore, before we begin a new year, we clean ourselves and then we can join the procession. There is the ritual of fate making and sprinkling of water on Buddha Image for virtue and luck. We also sprinkle water on the elderly to ask for well wishes. These activities are carried out to demonstrate the graceful Thai tradition and the time that we express love and unity of Khon Kaen University people.”


Mr. Nattapon Heepkaew, an educational officer, Office of Academic Service, Khon Kaen University, who joined the sand building ceremony (Top Pratai) said that he joined this activity last year, was impressed and so joined it again this year. “I asked my friends from the office to join. There are 10 of us. It is hot, but it is fun. We got the idea of sand building from the work we are doing at the Office of Academic Service and from the visit to nearly 20 provinces in Isan. We saw pagodas in many forms and so we applied the idea for our sand castle this year. This activity is very good, for it helps us relax. We all enjoy planning the building and at the same time we are conserving the graceful Thai tradition.”

There are more interesting activities at “The 5th Merit Making, with Buddha Bucha Somma Avuso Procession of 2024”. For example: the contest of Buddha Bucha procession, contest of Miss Sangkhaara, contest of sand castles, the water sprinkling ceremony, the flower offering to monks, <o Lam Muan Suen performace with a lot of artists including Dr. Ratree Sriwilai and Bongsitthiporn, the 2022 National Artist. This ceremony is organized to promote the good gracious culture of Thai and Isan people and to raise good relationships among organizations and faculties both inside and outside Khon Kaen University.

News: Rawiporn Saisaenthong

Photos: Atthapon Hampong and Natthawut Jaruwong


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