The Legend of Phra Phuttha Sihing
The legend of Phra Phuttha Sihing or Sihingkhanithan – the legend of the Sihing Buddha image- describes the history of the Sihing Buddha image, how it was built and its relocation since it is an important Buddha image in Thailand. The Venerable Phra Pho-thi Rangsi of Chiang Mai recorded the history of this Buddha image in Pali language during 1417 AD. He described the history of the Buddha image up to 1411 AD. HRH Prince Damrong Rajanubhab added the later history to the record.The legend was later edited for an abridged version by Luang Boribanburi-phan, with additional archeological commentary.
The legend says that the Sihing Buddha image was created in Sri Lanka around 157 AD and was brought to Siam in 1307 AD to Sukhothai. Later it was relocated to Phitsanulok, Ayutthaya, Kamphaeng Phet and Chiang Rai, before it was brought back to Ayutthaya again and then to Chiang Mai. Presently it is in Bangkok. Thai people believe that wherever the Sihing Buddha image resides, Buddhism will prosper.
Presently there are three images of the Sihing Buddha that share the same title, one in the Phutthai Sawan Royal Throne Hall, National Museum, Bangkok; one in the Phra Sihing Hall in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province; and the other one at Wat Phra Sing in Chiang Mai province.
The Thai people connect the Sihing Buddha image with Songkran festival (Thai New Year festival in lunar calendar). During Songkran festival, there will be a procession of Sihing Buddha image so that people can pour water over the image and then pray for auspiciousness and ask for blessings.