Buddhists make merit to ward off bad luck in ‘15

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Thousands of Buddhists and believers in Chinese astrology started the new year with a trip to the local temple to make merit and ward off bad luck.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2015, or the Year of the Goat, will be a bad one for those born in the Year of the Cow (2009 and every 12 years before that). Also, indirectly, luck could be unfavorable for those born in the years of the horse and dog.

In Chinese astrology, the Tai Sui god is well known as the god of horoscopes, a powerful deity who has a direct impact to person’s fortune in each year. Tai Sui is also the name of Jupiter, which is believed to be the king of planets, and the planet of auspiciousness, virtue, fortune, and wealth. Thus, in each year’s calculations, if a person’s Jupiter star falls into an unfavorable position, it will result in a bad year for that person.

People come to make merit at the Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation.People come to make merit at the Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation.

On Jan. 1, temples in Pattaya see a large number of people attending the merit-making ceremonies, especially at Huay Yai Temple, the temple of Phra Ajarn Karn, the former abbot and a highly revered geji monk in the eastern region. Many people travel to worship his body an attend ceremonies to dispel bad luck and support fortune, receiving holy water as a blessing.

People attending the merit making ceremony at Chaimongkol Temple.People attending the merit making ceremony at Chaimongkol Temple.

Luang Por Sarawut Jitpanyo, the abbot of Huay Yai Temple said that the temple has been holding the ceremony to dispel bad luck and support fortune for people since Karn was the abbot. Karn has passed away but his body remains preserved and was kept in a glass casket at his old dwelling where thousands come to pay him respect and make merit each year.