Be a Thai Lanna girl/boy for a day.
Carved with love: wander through time in a cultural heritage town of Naan
Day 2: Discover myself @ Naan
★* *★ .•°•★* *★ .•°•★* *★ .•°•★* *★ .•
Highlight activities for the Thai Lanna girl/boy
– Walking in the morning market, Tang Jit Nu Son Market
– Making Lanna ceremonial flag called “Tung Ka King” and make merit
– Learning about Lanna Calligraphy.
– Making beautiful lanterns called “Kom Ma Tao” and making candles at Sri Bun Rueng Temple.
– Shopping and eating on walking street.
Wake up in the morning and open your eyes to see the new surroundings. Day 2 in Naan with Thaiguide will transform the old you to the Thai Lanna girl/boy for a day. Thai Lanna costume is also easy to find in this peaceful place called Naan.
The morning market, Tang Jit Nu Son Market
Dress yourself up with Thai Lanna costume and start your day like Naan locals by visiting Tang Jit Nu Son Market. Shop and have delicious easy breakfast here. You can park your car by the side of the road and walk to the market. Tang Jit Nu Son Market gives you a different vibe from your normal market. Different dialect and surroundings will help you start off your happy and exciting day.
Making Lanna ceremonial flag called “Tung Ka King” and make merit.
After filling up your stomach with breakfast, let’s energize your mind by making merit in the northern Lanna style.
We travel to Phra Kerd Temple to make Lanna ceremonial flag called “Tung Ka King” and to make merit. It is believed that the length of “Tung Ka King” must be the same with the height of the person donating the flag in order to represent the donator. The paintings on Tung Ka King represents Itipiso chant, which talks about the recollection of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. The swaying tail of the flag signifies the relief of sadness and unfortunates which are to be blown away by the wind.
Once you arrive at the temple, the staff will provide you with “Tung” or the plain flag made from mulberry paper with golden paintings. The length of the flag provided will be the same with your height or a little longer. As the flag will be a representation of the donor, you will get a chance to decorate both sides of the flag with nose, eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Also, attach your constellation sign at the stomach area and write down your name. The decorated flag will then be offered to the monks, followed by a traditional religious ritual. The donated flag will be hung as a decoration in this temple.
The first student of Lanna Calligraphy class.
To totally blend in with Naan locals and Lanna culture, let’s learn to write Lanna fonts! The lesson takes only about 1.5-2 hrs. This class is totally new to the teacher and the students, so we were both very excited. From being completely clueless about Lanna fonts, I gradually learned how to write my name and the family’s names and learned how to read. The lesson was so fun that I’ll make sure I take a full-day lesson next time when I visit Naan. My teacher was so attentive and checked my homework closely. She even follows up on my progress online. So far, for only 1-2 hours, I’m very pleased with what I’ve learned. Speaking of which, it’s time for me to submit my homework!
Making beautiful lanterns called “Kom Ma Tao” at Baan Muang Teud
After having lunch at the temple canteen, let’s move on to make lanterns called “Kom Ma Tao”, a unique cultural heritage of Baan Muang Teud in Naan province. After the beautiful lanterns are made, we will offer them to the temple for good luck.
The house owner greeted us with a very warm welcome right after we arrived. The owner brought us some desserts before introducing us to various kinds of lanterns. Interestingly, we learned that Naan lanterns and Chiangmai lanterns are quite different. After the introduction was completed, we started making our own lanterns. Luckily, they had already prepared the basic structure of the lanterns for us. What we needed to do next was just concentrating on decorating the lanterns as neatly as possible. By the way, if you prefer to make the lantern from scratch, you can do so. Just let the teacher know and you can make your own lantern from the very first step by sharpening the wood. Allow yourself at least 3 hours though. We finished up our own lanterns by writing our birthdate and attach them to the lanterns. Using the Lanna fonts that we just learned, our lanterns definitely stand out in the crowd.
Making candles at Sri Bun Rueng Temple
After making your lanterns, let’s head back to Sri Bun Rueng Temple which is not so far away. Here, we learned how to mold candles and dry them in the sun before offering them to the temple. Unfortunately, by the time that we arrived at the temple, the sun was about to leave the horizon. So, the instructor already prepared the molded candles for us. There’s also one special thing about the candles besides having the owner’s name written on it. It is the number of the candle wick that equals the age of the candle owner! The candles offered to the temple will be lit after religious ceremony. Locals believe that offering candles to the temple symbolizes the merits being made and bad lucks being warded off. The light from the candle flame is also believed to predict the owner’s fortune (the brighter the light, the better).
It’s been told that the late old monk could tell one’s fortune by only looking at the flame from the candle that one made (*personal belief). After offering handmade candles to the temple, let’s walk under the pagoda where you can see photos of each zodiac sign with Lanna magic spell at each of the arched entrance. It’s believed that walking under the arch will ward off sadness, evils and enemies. The ancient and very beautiful Buddha statue made during Sukhothai era will later be invited to sit on top of the pagoda for tourists to worship. Currently, the site is in its final stage of detailing and decoration.
Enjoy shopping and eating on walking street
Still got some energy left? After making merit, it’s time to roam around! Head to walking street next to Phumin Temple and Phra That Chang Kham Temple. The walking street opens on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5 p.m. onwards. The food here is cheaply priced and of high quality starting from only 10 baht. For food lover like myself, I could just hang around here every day for unlimited line of food. For shoppers, you may find a limited choice of souvenirs. However, if you’re looking for quality clothes at cheap price, you’re at the right place. From hand-woven fabric, Sarong, Lao skirt fabric to Lanna costume, this walking street has them all at a bargain price.
After shopping, it’s time to chill out. You can buy your dinner and head to the dining area at Kuang Mueng, a town square with large outdoor space, and enjoy the food in Khantoke style (sitting on the floor with a small round wooden table) with free live music. What a wonderful dining experience!
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