|© Taylor Weideman - Getty Images | Huffington Post|
The festival marks the initiation of 7-14 years old boys, as novices in the Buddhist community. It essentially consists of these boys taking novice monastic vows and participating in monastery life for a period of time that can vary from a week to many months or more. It's widespread in Myanmar, but the practice crossed into Thailand, where Shan immigrants have brought over their traditions.
The festival goes on for three days, as the boys are dressed like princes in imitation of the Buddha, himself a prince before setting out on the religious path, spend the entire time being carried around on the shoulders of their older male relatives.
Photographer Taylor Weidman's lovely images of the Poy Sang Long festival were featured in The Huffington Post. The accompanying article tells us that the photographer followed two youngsters, as they prepared for their initiation. The two boys are neighbors from Chiang Mai who traveled to Mae Sariang, a small town in northern Thailand near the Burmese border for the ceremony.