The monkey forest (Don Chao Poo) is frequently used by the community of Phana for ceremonial and celebratory occasions. The Phana Municipality (Tetsaban Phana) is responsible for the forest and it is the tetsaban which organizes events there.
Sometimes the tetsaban is a facilitator, as it is for the annual retreat by monks who spend ten days in December meditating and teaching. The tetsaban prepares the forest for them and organizes a rota to ensure that the food offerings are made each day.
On other occasions such as the celebration of the Songkran festival in April, the tetsaban is more fully involved.
An event that was initiated in 2011 was the bicycle rally on the first day of the Wat Phra Lao festival in February. It is expected to become an annual event. The opening ceremony and gathering of cyclists took place in Don Chao Poo.
The celebration of Boun Pravet begins in Don Chao Poo before the procession moves off to the wat holding the festival:
Some parades and processions end at the monkey forest:
Chao Poo has to be propitiated before using his forest:
And since it is also the monkey forest, the monkeys have to be pleased too:
This one certainly looks well-pleased:
All these photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. You can see them (and lots more) as a slideshow on the page ‘Community Use’.