Buddhists nationwide make merit on Buddhist Lent Day


BANGKOK, July 12 —  Buddhists throughout Thailand early on Saturday flocked to temples to make merit on Buddhist Lent Day, wishing for bright prospects and happiness.

Tens of thousands of Thais and foreigners participated in a traditional candle procession in the annual Candle Festival in front of Wat Sri Ubon Wanaram in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani.

A total of 55 large, handcrafted candles moved along with beautiful Thai dance while popular singers of the province crooned along the three-kilometre distance as crowds watched with enthusiasm.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, a hundred thousand tourists had an opportunity to watch a beautiful candle procession around the revered Thao Suranaree Statue.

Some of the candles were carved with designs and themes inspired by the FIFA World Cup and the latest Transformers movie, now showing in Thailand.

More than 40 candles participated in the competition in this province and the winner will receive the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn trophy.

Many devout Buddhists turned up at Wat Thaluang in the northern province of Phichit and presented food, candles, light bulbs and other necessities to monks and prayed that their lives would be as bright as the candlelight.

Buddhists in the southern province of Songkhla also offered necessities to monks on the Buddhist Lent Day amid tight security. Security officials were ordered to provide extra protection during the long holiday, which began on Friday.