Thai 12 Year Animal Cycle

12 year cycle
The temples associated with each animal in the 12 year cycle

I am now half way through listing each of the temples that represent a different animal in the 12 year cycle. In Thai this system is called “naksat pi”. Thai people believe it is important that they should visit the temple associated with their birth sign.  I was born in the Year of the Goat, so I should visit Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai on the anniversary of each 12 year cycle. These pilgrimage sites are considered highly sacred because of their associations with the Lord Buddha. According to legend, seven of these temples were visited by the Buddha, four others contain his relics and the 12th one is in heaven. However, this last temple has a representative here on Earth. To be precise, in Chiang Mai. Two other temples are not in Thailand. These are Bodhgaya in India and Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma. But, they both have sacred representatives here in Thailand.

Earlier this year, armed with a guidebook in Thai, I attempted a pilgrimage to all of these sacred sites in Thailand. Here is the list of the temples I have written about so far:

There are six more sacred sites. Did I visit them all? Come back later to find out.

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