I 6 SIAM AND THE SIAMESE.
with shears clips off the long-cherished lock, and the head is close shaved for the first time ; and then the child, dressed in white, is led to an desecrated water is poured freely over it, first by the parents, then by kindred and friends. Its drenched garments are now replaced by gay attire, and a
through. Candles are lighted, and, while the music is playing loudly, are carried five times round the child, who is seated on a kind of throne between two circular five-storied flower-stand-like altars,
flowers, offerings to the spirits of the air. The candles are then blown out in such a way that the smoke shall be borne toward the child.' This is supposed to stock the boy or girl with spirit and courage for the duties of life.
The relatives and friends of the family now are expected to make a present in money to the child, each according to his ability or station, the sums varying from one to eighty pieces of silver (from half-a-crown to A io) so that the newly shorn
to give him quite a start in the world, or, if a maiden, sufficient for a. dowryA
And now a general feasting ensues, the yellow-clad priests being first served, and for a day or