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The Love Legend of Mae Nak or Nang Nak Phra Khanong

The Love Legend of Mae Nak or Nang Nak Phra Khanong

Mae Nak Picture 2
Mae Nak Picture 3
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Many love stories we hear end with a tragic death, but death doesn't necessarily mean the end of the story. Such is the tale of Mae Nak, as depicted in the horror film Nang Nak which was released in 1999, and the latest series, Mae Nak, was released in 2012. It is based on a famous folk tale, Nang Nak or Mae Nak Phra Khanong, which means Miss Nak of Phra Khanong District. A romantic tragedy and horror film, it's said that the spirit of the lovelorn Mae Nak continues to call out for her husband as she walks the plains of a separate dimension.

The love legend of Mae Nak has been repeated and shot on video, and each tells a slightly different story. No matter how many times it is said or how familiar it may be to the reader, almost everything about the level of Mae Nak is surprising. The story is about a beautiful young lady named Nak, who lives by the riverside of Phra Khanong district in Bangkok, and her undying love for her husband, Mak. According to tradition, the events occurred during the reign of King Mongkut.

According to local legend, Nak is a beautiful young lady who fell in love and married a man named Mak. When War broke out, Mak was conscripted and sent to fight in the Siamese - Vietnamese War and had to leave his pregnant wife alone. Unfortunately, Nak died in childbirth, along with her baby. However, her spirit refused to leave. Eventually, when Mak returned from War, he found his beloved wife and child alive and well. Life as he knew it went on as usual; they lived together for some time.

But one day, a friend visits and sees Mak living with Nak. Knowing that she is dead, the villagers realize the ghost spellbinds Mak. But those who attempt to tell him are killed by the spirit of Mae Nak in the night, desperate to stay with her husband. When Mak confronts Nak about the rumors about her death, she lies and says the villagers dislike her after Mak leaves for the War. Before he eventually realized that the words he had heard were true and that he was living with ghosts in a decaying home. 

There are many variations to this legend and how it ends. One night, Mak finally discovers the truth; he sees the reality of the state of his house and what his wife and baby look like. He was fearful and overcome with anger. He ran away in terror, took refuge in a temple, and called a monk for help. The kingdom's most respected Buddhist monk (Somdej Toh, also known as Archan Toh), Archan Toh, went to Nak's grave and had the center of Nak's forehead cut out to capture her spirit. In a tearful farewell, Nak repented, leaving her husband for this life. 

In 1997, a shrine of Mae Nak was placed at Wat Mahabut temple, built in the late Ayutthaya period, supposedly her burial place. Local peoples often refer to it as Wat Mae Nak Phra Khanong (Temple of Mother Nak of Phra Khanong). The shrine relocated to the nearby Suan Luang District of modern Bangkok, where people go and make offerings to Mother Nak, who resides there. The shrine is filled with colorful traditional Thai clothing, flower garlands, cosmetics, glasses of milk, and toys offered by devotees to Mother Nak and her child.

Mae Nak's story is still very popular because her undying devotion to her husband inspires people of all ages. Mae Nak is also believed to be benevolent in giving out winning lottery numbers. On the eve of the lottery draw, the shrine is bustling with ticket sellers, fortune tellers, and merit offerings by releasing lives for the freedom of all beings. Many people go there for blessings and guidance and any other that one might name. 

Location: Wat Mahabut Temple, On Nut, Sukhumvit 77. How to get there: Take the BTS to On Nut Station. Wat Mahabut Temple is located about 900 meters down Sukhumvit Soi 77. The temple is at the end of Soi 7.

Mae Nak Picture 5
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