Buddhists celebrate ‘day of peace’ on Visakha Bucha Day

0
739

Area Buddhists came by boat, bicycle and on foot to area temples to mark Visakha Bucha Day, which this year was declared an international day of peace.

Marking the triple occasion of the birth of Buddha, the day of his enlightenment and his ascension to Nirvana, Visakha Bucha Day is one of the three holiest days on the Buddhist calendar and this year was designated by UNESCO as “World Peace Day.” The educational, scientific and cultural organization’s proclamation cited Buddhism’s teaching of humanity, mercy and tolerance as the reasons for the designation.

Monks lead the Wien Thien ceremony around Wat Chaimongkol last Tuesday for Visakha Bucha Day.  Visakha Bucha Day is one of the three holiest days on the Buddhist calendar and this year was designated by UNESCO as “World Peace Day.”  Monks lead the Wien Thien ceremony around Wat Chaimongkol last Tuesday for Visakha Bucha Day.  Visakha Bucha Day is one of the three holiest days on the Buddhist calendar and this year was designated by UNESCO as “World Peace Day.”

Commemorations began early, with residents and tourists descending on the Pattaya Floating Market for a throwback merit-making activity where monks arrived by boat to receive alms of dried food, rice and other consumables.

In South Pattaya, runners and bicyclists converged for a “meditation walk-run.” The event saw the Pattaya Running Club and Cycling for Health Club mix Dharma with exercise over three kilometers at Chalermprakiat Park.

Monks arrive by boat to receive alms at Pattaya’s Floating Market.Monks arrive by boat to receive alms at Pattaya’s Floating Market.

The Thai Union Running Club for Health and the Fund for Health Promotion Bureau held a similar walk-run in Chonburi. Participants made offerings at a Buddhist alter praying to both their god and HM the King before hitting the streets.

Walks of a different sort rounded out the day of Visakha Bucha activities. Well into the evening, people turned out at area temples for circular processions around statues of Buddha, holy gems and other objects.

Buddhists and guests gather for religious ceremonies marking Visakha Bucha Day at the Sanctuary of Truth.Buddhists and guests gather for religious ceremonies marking Visakha Bucha Day at the Sanctuary of Truth.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome presided over two sets of triple circumambulations at the Sanctuary of Truth and Chaimongkol Temple.

Another 300 people turned out at Thamsamakkee Temple, where people walked with flowers, incense and candles in a parade around the temple grounds. Abbot Sombun Rekha Dhammot led monks in chanting and prayer.

Revered monks lead officers and enlisted men around the temple at the Sattahip Naval Base.Revered monks lead officers and enlisted men around the temple at the Sattahip Naval Base.

A predominantly military crowd of 500 joined another ceremony at Sattahip Temple. Abbot Wibun Dhammabal led monks as worshipers made three laps around the temple.

Finally, in Chonburi, Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit led local faithful in giving alms to 54 monks.

Surat Mekavarakul, along with family and friends, perform the Wien Thien at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.Surat Mekavarakul, along with family and friends, perform the Wien Thien at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.

Thais and guests perform the Wien Thien at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.Thais and guests perform the Wien Thien at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.

Thais and guests light candles and incense during the Visakha Bucha Day ceremonies at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.Thais and guests light candles and incense during the Visakha Bucha Day ceremonies at Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.

People perform the Wien Thien at the Sanctuary of Truth.People perform the Wien Thien at the Sanctuary of Truth.

Runners and bicyclists set off on a “meditation walk-run” through Chalermprakiat Park.Runners and bicyclists set off on a “meditation walk-run” through Chalermprakiat Park.

Thousands turn up for the Wien Thien at Wat Thamsamakkee in South Pattaya.Thousands turn up for the Wien Thien at Wat Thamsamakkee in South Pattaya.