New Year starts with alms giving in Pattaya, Naklua

Friday, 11 January 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 2 By  Warunya Thongrod & Vittaya Yoondorn

Pattaya-area residents began 2013 with early morning merit-making exercises, giving alms to monks in Pattaya and Naklua.

Banglamung District Chief Chawalit Saeng-Uthai and Pattaya City Council members led New Year’s Day’s official alms offering, leading people in donating rice and dried food to monks at Lan Po Park. In return, the monks prayed for prosperity and happiness of attendees for the coming year.

Monks followed with blessing those attending, along with sprinkling holy water before monks and novices from Jittapawan College marched to accept alms from citizens. In addition, Pattaya council members distributed calendars.

Abbot Pisan Jariyaphiwat leads more than 50 monks to accept alms from large groups of worshippers at Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya. Abbot Pisan Jariyaphiwat leads more than 50 monks to accept alms from large groups of worshippers at Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya.

The largest crowds showed up at Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya, where Abbot Pisan Jariyaphiwat led more than 50 monks to accept alms from large groups of worshippers.

The alms offering ceremony didn’t stop there, with guests walking to the sermon hall to present basic necessities to monks and pay homage to the Lord Buddha statue, asking for blessings and for the lord to blow away the dangers in 2013.

In addition, at the sermon pavilion, attendees presented food to monks while the outer areas of the temples were filled with people who could not make merit in temple offering alms to monks on foot, presenting meat and desserts.

This tradition has been passed on since ancient times with the belief that offering alms on New Year’s Day, believers will receive merit to live a smooth life with no obstacles. The merits from alms offering were dedicated to those who have passed, persons with previous deeds on each other including parents and benefactors.

While many were still sleeping off New Year’s Eve, the events did tie up traffic a bit as police closed off some area roads to provide space for the alms givers.

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