Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dok Khun

Dok Khun, originally uploaded by c_p_lew.

One of the ways that we know that hot season is upon us - other than feeling stifled by the heat all the time - is that the Dok Khun tree starts to bloom. Tuk-tuk drivers tie them to their vehicles for color and good luck. They are also used in blessing ceremonies for the Lao New Year (13 - 15 April), where the flower is dipped in water blessed by a Buddhist monk and then sprinkled on people attending the ceremony. The monk also splashes water on the building and on vehicles that people would like to bless.

The common English name is Golden Shower Tree.


Sonia said...

Beautiful flower tree! I have on my garden a tree that looks like this one. If you have the time, take a look on Rain of Gold.

Have a nice Sunday!

Xander said...

Wow, thanks for the info on the tree. We have one on at the entrance to our soi- it currently has such an amazing array of yellow flowers, that it almost looks unreal. -X

chanpheng said...

@sonia - the Rain of Gold is beautiful too. The leaves are a little different but Dok Khun are in the same genus (the Golden Shower tree is Cassia fistula and the Rain of Gold is Cassia ferruginae.

@xander - when I first lived in Thailand in the 80's, I shared a house with other refugee camp workers. My room was on the second floor of an old teak house and outside my window was a Dok Khun tree. During March - May, I felt like I lived in a stained glass window with the way the flowers filtered the light into my room.