The massed people slowly circled the wat. Slowly as in 10 minutes a lap. Dancers lead the procession, followed by musicians. It seemed both lively and solemn, a celebration and a weighty ritual, a gathering for friends and loved ones. Umbrellas protected many from the sun. The procession ended after three laps. Some left immediately, some hung out and socialized, a mix similar to any church service I’ve ever attended.
Here is some craptacular cell cam footage. The sound is good. If you look real close you can see movement at the head of the procession that you’ll think might be dance, but only because that’s the way I described it.
I showed the video to my massage lady. I wanted to know if my funeral interpretation was correct but didn’t mention it. She told me it was part of the ceremony whereby a man become a monk. At least I got the mix of celebration and weighty ritual correct.