BANGKOK, 2 August 2012, – Buddhists in the southern border province of Narathiwat have offered alms to monks on the occasions of Asalha Bucha and Buddhist Lent amidst heightened security. They dedicated merit to the deaths from southern unrest incidents.
On 2 August 2012, Narathiwat Deputy Governor Pradit Sukhonsawat and Narathiwat provincial police chief Pol.Maj.Gen.Chote Chawawiwat led Buddhists in the morning religious ceremony to mark the Asalha Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent. Food was offered to 29 monks. At 3.30 p.m., Buddhists walked around the temple three times, holding lit candles, at Narathiwat Buddha Monthon sanctuary. The circumambulation in a clockwise direction is an integral part of the merit-making procedure practiced by Buddhists.
Officers from the provincial police, the military and the Ministry of Interior provincial office have provided security for the merit-makers since morning. Special security will continue until Friday, August 3, as the Buddhist Lent Day is celebrated.
Asalha Bucha is the Buddhist festival that commemorates Buddha’s first sermon given to his five followers. Having listened to the sermon, one of them was ordained as the first monk in Buddhism. Right after the festival is the Buddhist Lent day, the beginning of the 3-month period during which monks stop travelling due to the rainy season.