Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Macha Bucha

Yesterday was Macha Bucha, an important Buddhist holy day and seeing as my foot is in bits I went instead of training. Then again with less than a week left of training it takes comparatively little to dissuade me from going.

One of the most important Buddhist celebrations - Macha Bucha Day falls on the full moon day of the third lunar month. Not particularly a festival, Macha Bucha is a Buddhist holy day and marks a point in history when 1,250 of the Lord Buddha's followers gathered to hear his sermon. Macha Bucha Day is a day when worshipers to walk three times around temples in a bid to make merit.


I have to say its a pretty cool event and in Chiang Mai it was centred around the two most famous Wats, Chedi Luang and Phra Singh. The former being particularly beautiful. One of the incredible things happening at Chedi Luang was the casting of three new buddhas to commemorate the day. The heat radiating from the Kilns was unbearable so I didn't hang around for the finale.



Not having a tripod made taking pics difficult. But with Macgyver like ingenuity I used any flat surface I could find to take long exposures of the worshippers as the light went. The D60 has a series of settings that allow you to control one element while it selects the remaining components as best suited to the photo you're taking. In this case I manually operated the shutter speed while the camera automatically selected the aperture and ISO for me. Now this is fine but for night photography, the D60 can sometimes select a higher ISO then I would like and the camera does not preform well in the higher ISO's. So I'd pre-set the ISO to 200 and whatever shutter speed I want and let the camera then do the rest. Le super super pics

But the following are my favourites
Makha Bucha - Images by Darragh Mason Field

Here's a video of the candle area of Wat Chedi Luang. Now that was amazing and very other worldly as you can SEE and HEAR through the miracle of badly compressed flash video.





One downside of the evening was being chased from Wat Phra Singh by some crazy dogs. Actually it was one crazy dog and it might of been a puppy, I couldn't tell it was dark. This was deeply incongruous with the blissed out feeling of peace I had enjoyed all evening. Particularly when I automatically assume that every canine here has rabies. Never the less after a particularly desperate and high pitched plea to the dog to "Go Away!". It trundled back to its mates looking well hard while I looked like a big girl's blouse.

Off to Laos on Friday, up the Mekong by Speedboat!

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