ICONSIAM Prayer Festival: Candle Light for Thai Fortune

ICONSIAM jointly preserves Thai traditional way of life and the significant religious ceremonies by organizing “ICONSIAM Prayer Festival: Candle Light for Thai Fortune” that allows visitors to make merit and pay respect to the sacred Buddha statues from four regions of Thailand as well as admire elaborated carved-wax candle trees and participate in a selection of flower worshipping workshops for wisdom of faith from July 3-6, 2020 at Charoennakorn Hall, M Floor.

ICONSIAM, a landmark of Thailand along the Chao Phraya river, organizes “ICONSIAM Prayer Festival: Candle Light for Thai Fortune” from July 3-6, 2020 at Charoennakorn Hall, M Floor of ICONSIAM on Charoen Nakhon Road with an aim to preserve Thai traditional religious ceremonies and pay respect to the much-revered Buddha statues on the occasion of Asalha Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent Day.

Visitors can participate in the significant religious activities including wax candle casting and paying homage to the sacred four Buddha statues from four regions of Thailand to bring propitiousness to themselves and the family members. This cultural and religious event also marks the Chao Phraya River as the river of rich cultures.

To give visitors a good chance to pay respect to the sacred objects at “ICONSIAM Prayer Festival: Candle Light for Thai Fortune” and the “Center of Faith” activities, ICONSIAM brings in four much-revered Buddhist statues from the country’s four regions to this grand festival. Luang Phor Sothorn of Wat Sothorn Wararam in Mueang district, Chachoengsao province is regarded as the most auspicious icon of the province.

Both the Buddha statue and the temple are not only esteemed and venerated by the faithful from the local people, but also Buddhists from all parts of Thailand. Legend of Luang Phor Sothorn’s miracles and sacredness spread very far among Buddhists making them to take a pilgrimage to the temple and worship Luang Phor Sothorn with the faithful belief that their wishes will be granted regarding success in business, invulnerable aspect, safe journey and good health.

Next up is Phra Buddha Sihing (replica) from Nakhon Si Thammarat province that was crafted in Maravijaya posture, sitting in lotus crossed-leg pose. The statue comes with plumb body, slightly pronounced chin and nose, thick hair and short extra robe with curling ends. The art style was belonged to “Khanom Tom” style – the unique characteristic of Nakhorn Si Thammarat school of craftsmanship dating back to the 21st Buddhist century in the Ayutthaya era.

There is also Phra Chiang Saen from Chiang Mai province that is crafted in “the First Singha Style of Phra Chiang Saen” with notable features of lotus crossed-leg sitting stance, plumb body, round face, smiling, big curly hair, wearing orb above top bun, and wearing short extra robe just above breast. The style of Buddha image is related to Phra Buddha Sihing legend in Lanna during the 20th Buddhist century and is thus named “Phra Singha” style. The last Buddha statue to be displayed at ICONSIAM is Luang Phor Phra Sai from Wat Pho Chai, Nong Khai province.

According to the legend, the Buddha image was built by Setthathirat, one of the kings of Lan Chang Kingdom, as a representative to worship the Lord Buddha and remind the Buddhists to follow the Buddha’s teaching philosophy. Thousands of faithful Buddhists would gather around Luang Phor Phra Sai, praying for good health, safe travel, and good fortune in career and once their wish is fulfilled, they would redeem their offer.

Visitors are also invited to join the candle casting with elaborated wax flowers and admire the spectacular sculpture of wax candle tree titled “Candle Light of Wisdom” crafted by master Sukhom Chawarit, the head of the candle craftsmen of Wat Buraparam, Ubon Ratchathani province. His highest skill is recognized thanks to his winning awards for the best wax candle craftsmanship for five consecutive years (1992-1996) in the Candle Craft Competition and the best craftsman of Ubon Ratchathani in 2001.

The candle tree is elaborately crafted to tell the story of the Lord Buddha’s first teaching after attaining enlightenment to common people, devas, angles and apostles. The candle tree is pulled by a Garuda while the base is carried by the divine ox mounted by the Lord Buddha.

Sitting alongside the candle, on the left side is Ya Nagi Si Patuma and on the right side is Phu Sri Suttho Naga. Phu Sri Suttho had once asked to be ordained by the Lord Buddha but was refused since he was a serpent. So Phu Sri Suttho asked for, instead, a Naga ordination before ordination into monkhood. This legend is believed to be the origin of the tradition of Buddhist ordination called Buat Nak that the monks-to-be would be processed around temple, dressing in white, and have to withstand the departure of desire and material world.

Nong Nooch Garden from Pattaya jointly adds the grandeur to the wax candle tree with an abundance of beautiful flowers to be decorated at the base of the candle tree based on the concept of “Mandala” which, according to Buddhist belief, is the center of universe meaning the resting place of the Lord Buddha.

The derivative of this notion also appeared in the architectural aspects of Buddhist temple that a temple would always has four doors, each is correspondent to the compass directions which, in turn, reflect the Buddhist four sublime states of mind including loving kindness, compassion, sympathy and equanimity. In accordance with such belief, the wax candle tree is thus sitting at the center of the circle reaching to four Buddha statues placed in four compass directions, enclosed with flower garden.

There are also religion-related workshops called “Flower Worshipping: Wisdom of Faith” specially selected for this festival. Visitors can participate in the making of Bu-nga Pad Bohk (Dried Perfumed Flowers in Royal Handled Fan-shaped Sachet). This exquisite handicraft was originally made by people in the royal court with dried perfumed and preserved flowers crafted into the form of a royal long handled fan. The fans are usually offered as auspicious items in worshipping holy spirits and in the rituals as well as used for decoration.

The making of scented lotus candle is also offered for people who want to make their own candles as the auspicious offerings for the Buddhist statues. Some people love having colored candle according to the colors of their day of birth. Although a variety of scents and shapes are available to choose, the candle in the form of lotus which is the symbol of purity in Buddhism is among the most popular. Lighting candle also represents the power of enlightened wisdom for better living.

Lotus petal folding that has long been the traditional practice of Buddhists is celebrated in the festival. Folding lotus petal in exquisite style symbolizing the blooming of the lotus and offering to the monks or Buddha statues is a way of worshipping to represent the appreciation of the Buddha’s teaching. Another workshop offers the tip to preserve fresh champak flower to make it lasts longer for worshipping and praying. The local wisdom with witty practice that has passed down from generations to generations is unlocked to show how to preserve flower’s beauty and freshness to last for many years.

ICONSIAM would like to invite Thai people to support and preserve significant Buddhist traditions by joining “ICONSIAM Prayer Festival: Candle Light for Thai Fortune” from July 3-6, 2020 at Charoennakorn Hall, M Floor of ICONSIAM on Charoen Nakhon Road. The festival is held with the precautionary measure of innovative hygienic and safety practices to boost maximum confidence among participants who wish to make a merit for prosperity in life. Interested people can join the activities with free of charge. For further information, please call 1338 or visit www.iconsiam.com.