elephant veterinary centre

The monks wait to receive food after the blessing

Now that the STEF veterinary centre is fully functional, our trustee in Thailand, Jakrapob Thaotad (Jake), organised for the centre to blessed by monks. It is traditional in Buddhist countries for new homes, new premises and new businesses to receive a blessing, which is carried out on an auspicious date to bring good fortune to the business and the people working there.

The blessing can be provided by any number of monks, as long as it is an odd number. As there is not a lot of space in the office and hallway at the STEF veterinary centre, five monks were invited to bless the premises. Also attending the blessing was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Provincial Administrative Organisations.

After the blessing ceremony the monks were offered food. This is a traditional part of the ceremony, and Dr Aon and STEF’s president, Sir Richard Armstrong, can be seen in the photo below putting some rice for the monks into the begging bowls. Once the monks have their food, lunch will also be offered to everyone else taking part in the ceremony. After lunch, the monks fed the elephants with bananas.

[Click on photos to enlarge and read captions]