25,000 turn out to give alms to 2,000 monks

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About 25,000 people turned out to give alms to 2,000 Buddhist monks on a mission to help less-fortunate brethren.

The huge merit-making event in front of Pattaya City Hall Nov. 27 saw the crowd, dressed predominantly in white, donate rice and dried goods to support a nationwide drive by a million monks to provide relief to 286 embattled Buddhist temples in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated south.

(Above and Below) North Pattaya Road is a sea of saffron as 2000 monks gathered to pray for peace and tolerance amongst the peoples of the world.(Above and Below) North Pattaya Road is a sea of saffron as 2000 monks gathered to pray for peace and tolerance amongst the peoples of the world.

(Above and Below) North Pattaya Road is a sea of saffron as 2000 monks gathered to pray for peace and tolerance amongst the peoples of the world.

The Banglamung Morals and Environmental Revival Club organized the government-sponsored event, the third since 2008, aimed at reviving and supporting religion. It was a family-oriented activity meant to reinforce traditional values as well as support the monks, who are often the targets of violence by southern separatists.

The sea of orange robes flowed along North Road from the Samsai intersection to the Dolphin Roundabout.

Thousands of devout Buddhists and people of many faiths join in the merit making ceremonies along North Pattaya Road.Thousands of devout Buddhists and people of many faiths join in the merit making ceremonies along North Pattaya Road.

Mayor Itthipol Khumplome and his wife Rachada Chatikavanij enjoy making merit together by giving alms to the Buddhist monks.Mayor Itthipol Khumplome and his wife Rachada Chatikavanij enjoy making merit together by giving alms to the Buddhist monks.