17 million Buddhists join in New Year prayers


BANGKOK, Jan 2 — In addition to countdown events celebrating the 2015 New Year, a popular activity in Thailand, more than 17 million devout Buddhists late December 31 joined in chanting prayers of celebration at temples countrywide, an announcement issued by the Ministry of Culture said.

This year’s Buddhist merit-making started at 11pm on New Year’s Eve, December 31, and finished at almost 1am on New Year’s Day. The event exceeded the number of  people taking part in a similar event last year with five million participents by more than three times, the announcement said.

It said 798,500 persons joined in chanting prayers at 204 temples in Bangkok while about 16.7 million prayers participated at 11,160 temples, religious centres and parks in 76 provinces.