Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade Tradition, University of Phayao

15/5/2567 10:23:44น. 45
Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade Tradition, University of Phayao

Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade Tradition, University of Phayao

            The Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade Tradition at the University of Phayao originated from a collaboration among the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Education, and the School of Political Science and Social Sciences. Previously, these three faculties were part of the same academic unit, the School of Liberal Arts. However, as academic programs and responsibilities expanded, it became necessary to separate them based on their areas of expertise. The idea for collaborative activities among the faculties arose from a desire to foster unity and camaraderie reminiscent of their shared history within the School of Liberal Arts. This tradition, held annually in the sixth month of Peng, aligns with the ancient Lanna motto and reflects deep reverence and faith among the University of Phayao personnel toward “Phra That Chom Thong,” a pagoda revered by Buddhists. Offering cloth to cover the pagoda is regarded as highly auspicious, akin to presenting a set of monk's robes to Lord Buddha. The merit accrued from this act is believed to bring happiness and prosperity. The tradition serves as a foundation for future generations, emphasizing the importance of preserving the arts and culture inherited from previous generations. By integrating modernity with tradition, the University of Phayao aims to ensure the continuity of these cherished customs without rendering them obsolete. This commitment to cultural preservation is seen as a shared responsibility, rather than a burden, and underscores the university's dedication to conserving and enriching the cultural heritage of the region. In this spirit, the University of Phayao continues to uphold and celebrate the “Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade Tradition” with grandeur and reverence, recognizing it as one of the hallmarks of its cultural identity.

             The Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Procession Festival at the University of Phayao originated from the collaboration of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, the School of Education, and the tradition of the Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade at the University of Phayao, with support from various departments within the university, alumni of University, and endorsement from Wat Sri Khom Kham, Phra Aram Luang, Phra That Chom Thong Archaeological Site, Phayao Provincial Cultural Office, Phayao Municipality, Phayao Provincial Buddhism Office, and government agencies in Phayao Province. Additionally, 14 urban communities and the Ban Thaen Dok Mai community, Village No. 11, and Village No. 17, located near the Phra That Chom Thong archaeological site, actively participate in the festival. This tradition embodies the University of Phayao's mission of preserving arts and culture in tangible ways. Rooted in Buddhist faith and unity among University of Phayao personnel, participants come together to offer a 36-meter-long cloth to cover Phra That Chom Thong and a summer Buddhist blanket to adorn the principal Buddha image. Participants also don Wiang costumes, inspired by the traditional attire of the Tai Lue people. During the traditional Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Procession, water is collected from eight significant sources, facilitated by alumni residing in provinces connected to these water sources. The ceremony involves drawing water from the Ping River in Chiang Mai Province, the Wang River in Lampang Province, the Yom River in Phrae Province, the Nan River in Nan Province, the Mekong River in Chiang Rai Province, the Ing River from Kwan Phayao in Phayao Province, the Kongka River from the Republic of India, and the Nam Ang Luang reservoir within the University of Phayao. An important source of water that is used to nourish personnel and students at the University of Phayao. At the University of Phayao, a ceremony was held to draw water from Ang Luang. For the purpose of the project participants' good fortune and tranquility, a ceremony is held to gather water from significant water sources and chant Buddhist mantras to create water that can be used to bathe Phra That Chom Thong. In addition, a creative Lanna folk dance performance known as "Panya Rueang Rong Dance, Muang Thong, University of Phayao" features Teacher Arin Phulkasem, a wisdom teacher in traditional Lanna dance from Phayao Province, who graciously assists in organizing the dance. The dance of students from all 3 groups is an interesting point in the Phra That Chom Thong Blanket Parade Tradition. This graceful and beautiful performance brings together the art of ancient Lanna folk dancing, such as the Leb Dance, the Cheng Dance, the Maphabb Dance, and the Kai Lai Dance.
There are also creative offerings. The model is based on ancient Lanna worship items such as: 1. Phum Dok 2. Phum Phlu 3. Mak Soom 4. Mak Beng 5. Ton Phueng 6. Ton Thian 7. Ton Thong, which students can use during their free time after class and on holidays. They come to practice dancing and help to create offerings with unity and faith in Phra That Chom Thong. This allows students to learn about the local culture of Lanna through these activities and create great pride for those who participated in this event. This tradition goes beyond preserving arts and culture. It is also a collaboration with the local community to preserve arts and culture in line with the university's aspiration of “Wisdom for Community Empowerment.”

               The tradition of carrying blankets at Phra That Chom Thong has evolved into one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) for preserving the arts and culture of the University of Phayao. This initiative has led to increased involvement from all faculties and departments within the university. The School of Liberal Arts, in particular, has taken the lead in researching the ancient Lanna offerings associated with the Phra That Chom Thong blanket procession tradition. Leveraging knowledge from the folklore courses in the Bachelor of Arts program and Thai language majors, the faculty has integrated various research findings and local cultural insights into the Phayao Studies curriculum. This content has been compiled into an electronic textbook (e-learning) to ensure its sustainability and accessibility for future generations and enthusiasts interested in further study. Moreover, the school of Liberal Arts has translated information about the tradition of the Phra That Chom Thong blanket procession at the University of Phayao into multiple languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, French, and Lanna. These translations are disseminated internationally through video presentations, showcasing the tradition that has been held since 2015 and continues to garner positive cooperation from both the public and private sectors. Looking ahead, the University of Phayao plans to collaborate with government agencies and local communities to further promote the Phra That Chom Thong blanket procession tradition as a tourist attraction for Phayao Province. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the rich local culture reflected in the various festivals held continuously throughout the year, which are deeply intertwined with the way of life and beliefs of the people of Phayao. This initiative is expected to contribute to community strengthening and cultural sustainability in Phayao Province.

Deputy Dean for Student Quality



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