I wrote a few weeks ago about idols, from a spiritual perspective, but I thought I would just share an overview of the experience!
On the way up the hill, we walked through this temple, with many incense offerings.
We passed through the dragon's mouth...
And came out to a long set of stairs. But, at the top was a great view of Hat Yai!
And this lovely lady:
On the grounds were many many statues. People would kneel before them and pray, or offer incense or fruit as well.
And here are a large pair of gold feet. Not sure if they will eventually belong to a new idol, or if the feet are the idol themselves...
A Buddha statue.
And, we happened to be up on the hill the day they opened a cable car! It was the grand opening, so we were able to ride for free.
On the other side, the top of another hill, were more statues. This is an 8 headed Buddha statue. There were many bells that you could ring up here, and you could buy flower necklaces to offer as well.
Or you could pay to shoot off fire crackers for good luck. This happened a lot, and it startled me every time. They are so loud.
A large 3 headed elephant. I saw many people offering plates of fruit in front of him and hitting a gong.
This woman was selling birds in little cages. You set them free and they are supposed to take all of your "sin" away with them. Another type of offering to the gods.
And lastly, there were a ton of elephant statues that had peoples' names on them. I think they represented money that had been given.
It was really interesting just being a fly on the wall and see what it looks like to actually worship as a Buddhist. I feel like I learned a lot, and it was great to be able to ask students about their experiences and ask questions when I saw them that week.
I'm slowly by surely posting more Thailand stuff, thanks for hanging in there :)