Date: 11-14 April 2017
Monks and residents in a central Chiang Mai district have been busy building a colossal sand chedi to celebrate the advent of the annual Songkran Festival. During a rite staged at Jedlin Temple yesterday, the 3 April, the soaring 15 metre pagoda style structure was topped off with a crowning parasol.
Building sand pagodas (chedi sai) in their compounds for Songkran is a time-honoured tradition Buddhist temples throughout Thailand adhere to. The standard height is usually somewhere around the two to three metres mark. In comparison, the chedi at Jedlin Temple is a true colossus.
Each of the chedi’s four bottom sides is over 10 metres long so that it is wide enough to support the extra height. the pagoda is built over five levels with support walls made out of bamboo to hold the sand in place. Multi-coloured flags are stuck up on poles in the sand. These represent the 12 yearly star signs including the current one, the rooster, and the dragon.
Jedlin Temple is open every day. People wishing to see the chedi sai will find the temple on Prapokklao Road. It is a few minutes’ walk south from the more famous Chedi Luang Temple. A good number of the temples in Chiang Mai will be building their own chedi sai on the 14 April. Visitors are always welcome to join in the fun.