Thai and Laotian citizens join in cross-year prayers

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Nakhon Phanom – Tens of thousands of Thai and Laotian citizens came together at Wat Phratatpanomworamahawiharn for cross-year prayers to ring in 2018.

The white-clad faithful arrived early on Sunday afternoon to prepare for the occasion, wishing to begin the New Year with merit and good fortune. Wat Phratatpanomworamahawiharn of Nakhon Phanom is a revered temple for both Thai and Laotian Buddhists with citizens of the neighboring nation crossing the Mekong River to pay their respects to its central Buddha statue regularly.

The prayer’s opening was conducted by Nakhon Phanom Governor Somchai Witdamrong and involved a spiritual string being held by all present. The cross-year prayers preceded a mass alms giving on Monday morning.

It is believed that Wat Phratatpanomworamahawiharn’s central Buddha statue houses fragments of bone from the Buddha’s chest. The temple is pending registry as a World Heritage Site and is a popular tourist destination where visitors come to seek merit.