Boon Phawet: A Comparative Study of a Phu Tai, Tai-Lao and Kaleung Religious Ceremony in North-eastern Thailand

  •  Banjong Lawalee    
  •  Boonsom Yodmalee    
  •  Sitthisak Champadaeng    


This is a qualitative investigation utilizing survey, observation, interview and focus group discussion as research tools. The aims of the paper are to assess the current state of the Boon Phawet ceremony, compare the customs between Phu Tai, Tai-Lao and Kaleung ethnic groups and analyse what they reveal about culture and society. The results show that the principles of Boon Phawet in all three groups are similar. The ceremony is held in the fourth month according to the traditional North-eastern social code of heet 12 kong 14. It is a religious ceremony to pay respect to Phra Malai, an arhat who descended to hell to ease suffering. The main components of the ceremony are a Phawet fabric parade, the Tet Mahachat sermon and a Kan Lon parade. There are a number of group-specific particularities, including the use of elephants in the parade of the Kaleung group. Problems with Boon Phawet revolve around a lack of active inheritance and care from the younger generations. For the continuation of Boon Phawet traditions, a conservation model must be determined that appeals to modern society.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9655
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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