Thai Buddhist monk hosts funeral for himself as lesson about death

A Buddhist monk made headlines in Thailand when he invited residents in the northern province Phittanulok to a funeral… his funeral. The abbot at a local temple is alive and well, but wanted the ceremony to send a message to his followers that death is normal and just a part of life.

The funeral at the Pothiyan Temple followed traditional Thai Buddhist practices. A coffin with a fake body made from a banana tree was even burned in the temple’s crematory. 55 monks did Buddhist chants and prayers as the coffin was sent to the crematory.

Locals dressed in black. A sign was had the monk’s name, Sunthorn Rojanakhun, with his birth date, 23 October 1968, and his “death date,” 23 October 2048. (He expects to die at age 80.)

Sunthorn’s funeral was intended to normalise the thoughts of death. He added that now there is no need for a funeral when he dies as locals have already celebrated his life. Those who attended the funeral also each got 5 kilograms of rice as a gift. Some residents told the media that they plan to buy lottery tickets with numbers matching the abbot’s age.

Thai monk hosts funeral for himself
The abbot shared a sign inviting locals to join his pre-funeral.

SOURCE: Thai News Agency

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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