Many things in life require rehearsals but for most of us, death isn’t among them. The idea of renewal and starting again is experienced every year in nature with the change of seasons, but for the human mind it is a more difficult phenomenon.

The Pram Manee Temple in Nakorn Nayok province, which is located 107 km northeast of Bangkok, Thailand, has developed a rather bizarre but nevertheless workable solution for the human mind to cleanse itself of the past and begin again.

The concept involves rehearsing death with a mock funeral, which includes lying down in a coffin.

The temple conducts two such rituals every day at very specific times; 9:09a.m. and 1:09 p.m. Thais believe the number 9 to hold particular positive significance.

The ritual is as much psychological and it is physical. Flowers and prayers for bad luck to disappear comprise the ceremony in which participants pay 180 baht ($US 6) for flowers, a white sheet and a “merit set,” which is akin to a tool kit for necessities such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and food.

This meager collection is offered to monks as part of the promise for a simpler, better life.

The ceremony begins with a prayer for the dead, which dissipates all bad things. Participants must lie in their coffins as a monk pulls a white sheet over it.

“The monk will turn the sheet over and pull it back, like pulling the good things back in. First we push the bad luck away, then we put the good things in,” says Rin Manaboom, a monk at the temple who conducts the ceremonies.

Participants remain in their designated coffins while monks chant prayers over them. After these invocations, they emerge as if from a cocoon from their resting places and are blessed with holy water.

For some, the ritual is a frequent occurrence; for others it is a once in a lifetime experience.

To each his own and who is to say what powers ease the complexities of the human mind?

Check out this amazing video of a man in Ghana whose profession is the creation of fantasy coffins.




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.