Grand funeral for dog in Thailand

What might look like a traditional funeral in the Surin province on 24th January 2021 was, in fact, a ceremony for an eight-year-old stray dog, Aun. The locals believed that the doggo was part of royal nobility in his past life and should receive a proper funeral fit for a noble.

The funeral

The province’s well-respected monk, Venerable Luangta Tum, raised Aun since he was a puppy. The esteemed monk and his companion were often spotted together – Aun became a beloved doggo among the locals over his eight years on earth.

After Aun passed away, the Venerable Luangta and the locals agreed to give the doggo a proper funeral – complete with eight monks, elaborate flower arrangements and a traditional coffin. True to Thai Buddhist funeral rites, the village held evening prayers for seven days before the cremation ceremony. It is reported that more than 300 villagers attended all of the events.

Thai Dog Funeral
The cremation ceremony
Image credit: Sanook

Thai Dog Funeral Coffin
The doggo’s coffin
Image credit: Sanook

The dog’s past life

While Aun was indeed adored by locals, another reason for his grand ceremony was the belief that the doggo is the reincarnation of a noble. According to Post Today, the belief came from one villager’s dream – he dreamt about a certain royal noble named Ajarn Aun, who was so skilled at dark magic that he became corrupted, and was condemned by karma to be reborn as Aun the doggo in his next life.

During Aun’s funeral, villagers brought a picture of a boy who they believed was Aun the doggo in the past life. 

Thai Dog Funeral
Ajarn Aun, believed by many villagers to be Aun the doggo’s past life
Image credit: Sanook

Water burial

The Venerable Luangta and the locals planned to give Aun the doggo a water burial after the cremation ceremony. The locals will retrieve the cremated remains and spread them across the sea to release Aun’s soul to a better place.

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Featured image adapted from: Sanook

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