Thousand of pilgrims have visited Thailand's oldest and largest pagoda to pay homage to Buddhist relics.
GV Nakorn Pathom Pagoda
SV Boy with balloon
LV CU and SV Ferris wheel (3 shots)
LV & CU Stalls, some with souvenirs (4 shots)
CU Fruit and vegetable stall
GV Pagoda and courtyard
LV & CU Damage to dome of Pagoda (2 shots)
SV & CU People putting money into earns (4 shots)
SV & CU People buying lotus blossoms (3 shots)
LV People on stairs to statue of Buddha
CU TILT DOWN People praying in front of statue
CU Girls praying holding lotus blossom
SV & CU People putting gold paper on surface of Buddha images (4 shots)
SCU Women praying
SV PAN "Children's sightseeing train" drives through grounds to pagoda
Initials AE/22.10 AE/23.08
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Background: Thousand of pilgrims have visited Thailand's oldest and largest pagoda to pay homage to Buddhist relics.
The pagoda is the centre of the annual Phra Pathom Chedi Festival held at Nakorn Pathom, 60 miles west of the capital, Bangkok, from November 9th to the 13th. The seasonal festival is held after the rice harvest at the start of the dry season, and it's a time of leisure for farmers of Nakorn Pathom province.
The present pagoda standing 380 feet high -- was built about one hundred years ago. It replaced the original shrine which took some 300 years to build. Construction began during the Scothai period and was completed by the Chacri kings dynasty in the 7th century. In the basement of the pagoda is the tomb of the Indian monk praticthatat Praphutthachau, who brought Buddhism to Thailand a thousand years ago.
Repairs costing 150,000 pounds sterling (about 360,000 U.S. dollars) are being made to the pagoda this year, financed partly by donations from worshippers, and partly by a Government subsidy. Pilgrims give donations while they pay homage in the pagoda.
Each year, the festival attracts a cluster of small businesses including funfairs and restaurants and food stalls.
SYNOPSIS: Thailand's largest and oldest pagoda is the centre of an annual Buddhist festival. Each year, thousands of pilgrims visit the pagoda in the city of Nakorn Pathom to pay homage to Buddhist relics. It's a time for rejoicing.
The courtyard of the pagoda becomes a marketplace and funfair for the four days of festival. It runs from the ninth to the thirteenth of November, at the start of the dry season, and is a time of leisure for the farmers of Nakorn Pathom province.
The province is one of the richest areas of Thailand and the city of Nakorn Pathom is a major religious centre. The Phra Pathom stands three-hundred-and-eighty-feet high. The original pagoda was built more than a thousand years ago and was replaced about one-hundred-years ago. Repairs are being carried out this year, with the help of donations from worshippers.
The pagoda has a special significance in the history of Buddhism in Thailand. In the basement is the tomb of the first Buddhist monk to travel to Thailand from India.
Pilgrims come from all parts of Thailand to pay homage at the Pagoda. They make donations after seeking Buddha's blessing. There's a heavy demand for Lotus blossoms.
The Phra Pathom Chedi festival coincides with the Loy Krathong festival of light which is celebrated throughout Thailand. There are eight major festivals in Thailand each year.
Donations from worshippers come to several thousand pounds, and the proceeds from the stalls and funfair have greatly boosted the fund for maintaining the ancient pagoda. But most of the repair budget of one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand pounds has come from subsidies from the Thai government. The repairs are expected to be finished in time for next year's festival.