In Thai language ทำบุญกระดูกบรรพบุรุษ translates to Make Ancestral Bones. Personally, I would be inclined to call it ‘Ancestral Bones Ceremony’ but I’m not going to make any bones about that, lol.
Not surprisingly, this somewhat bizarre event took place during a visit to Buriram. I have to admit that before, during and after the occasion I mainly had no idea what was going on.
My best explanation of ‘Make Ancestral Bones’ is interpreted from my wife’s explanation of the event to me. It is a very ritualistic (Buddhist) occasion to honor, celebrate, and remember deceased family members. The event culminates with the transporting of the remains (bones) of dead relatives (ancestors) from the home to the local temple.
In addition to the bones which some members of the procession are carrying (see photo above), pictures of the deceased are carried to the temple. The photo above might give you the impression that this is a sombre occasion, but it certainly is not.
The procession to the temple is a feature of many Buddhist occasions in Buriram, and one I’ve witnessed several times before. As usual, all the family, extended family, friends and members of the community attended. The more the better seems to be the way.
As you can see from the photo above, the ‘Make Ancestral Bones’ ceremony is actually a happy occasion. The ritual is all about remembering and celebrating ancestors. And who knows, maybe even celebrating with ancestors !.