Of drought, and cats, and rain gods

Black Siamese cats are in high demand these days. No, not for dining tables in China, but for hae nang maew, a ritual to ask the deity for rain, as much of the country suffers under the worst drought in memory.

Besides the black cats (maew see sawat), four other items are required for the ritual - a bamboo or rattan basket with a cover, five pairs of candles, five paired flowers, and a wooden pole to carry the basket containing one or more cats.

In some areas it is preferred that the cats are female, and pregnant.

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