2,600 monks to lead merit making ceremony in aid of southern temples


Pattaya will make merit with 2,600 monks in front of Pattaya City Hall Dec. 22 to provide aid to counterparts in Thailand’s strife-ridden south.

The three-hour merit-making ceremony runs 5:30 – 8 a.m. with locals bringing rice and dried goods to support a national drive by a million monks to support 323 Buddhist temples in four Muslim-dominated southern provinces.

The Meditation for Moral Development of the World Association is working with the city and Pattaya schools to organize the event, held annually since 2008 to revive and support religion. It’s intended as a family activity meant to reinforce traditional values, as well as support the southern monks, who are often the targets of violence by Muslim separatists.

The scene at last year’s event. The scene at last year’s event.

At a Dec. 14 planning meeting, officials said organizers will meet at 5 a.m. and that, at 7 a.m., there will be a presentation of monk necessities, with attendees dressed in white lining up to give offerings. The Association also plans to sell items to be offered to monks for those who did not bring their own.