Poi Sang Long Procession

One of the most important processions through the Mae Hong Son province is the Poi Sang Long Procession; more people join this than any other procession. This highly admired occasion is the celebration of novice ordination.  It is traditional for boys between the ages of seven and fourteen to enter monkhood to learn the precepts of Buddha and gain merit for their families.

Traditionally, the candidate-novice is bathed and anointed with special waters, his head cleanly shaven and wrapped with a cloth in the Burmese style, and his face is powdered.  He dons a royal robe, with gems and jewelry. He either rides a horse to the city shrine or is carried on a man’s shoulder. Before being placed in a monastery, the previous evening the personal belongings and the offerings are paraded through the town. March and early April is the typical time for this celebration.