All rescued Thai boys, except for one who is Christian, will shave their heads, don robes and live in a monastery for nine days as novices. Their coach, Ekkapol “Ake” Chantawong, 25, having spent time in the monastery as a novice before, will receive the monk’s orders.
The groups of boys were released earlier this week from the hospital and are reported to be in good health. The boys and their coach spent nine days in the cave surviving on little food or light.
As reported by BBC, spending time in a monastery is intended to be a “spiritual cleansing” for the boys and their coach who went through extremely difficult times trapped in one of the Tham Luang caves of northern Thailand.
It is a tradition for males in Thailand to spend time in a monastery after experiencing adversity.
In a conversation with BBC, Seewad Sompiangjai, grandfather of Night, one of the rescued boys, said, “They should spend time in the monastery. It’s for their protection”. He added, “It’s like they died but now have been reborn”.
The “Wild Boars” will spend nine days — considered to be a lucky Thai number — meditating, praying and cleaning the temple in different monasteries until August 4.
Thai officials say the boys will have their heads shaved, before attending a robe ceremony on Wednesday.
The boys had been trapped for more than two weeks in the cave before their rather dramatic rescue. The 12 boys and their coach entered the cave and were trapped there after an unexpected surge of monsoon floods. The British divers first reached them on July 2, and the rescue operation was finally over on July 10.