The Ministry of Culture is gearing up to host the Buddhism Promotion Week late this month while encouraging all Buddhist Thais to join in. The campaign, which will run from 26-31 July 2015, will coincide with Asanha Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent Day which will arrive at the end of this month. All devout Buddhists, both in Bangkok and the provinces, are invited to observe the occasion by practicing Dharma principles, donning white and going to temples to join candle-lit processions. People are also encouraged to abstain from all vices during the Buddhism Promotion Week and the Buddhist Lent period and decorate their homes and offices with the Dharmachakra flag.
Many special activities will be made available for public members, including trips to temples along Bangkok Noi Canal and Maha Sawat Canal as well as an orchid plantation and local communities. Similar activities were also held last year and, besides the purpose of making merit, they were found to help generate income for residents and promote cultural learning.
Source: National News Bureau & Public Relations
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn changed the Emerald Buddha’s robes from summer to cool season attire at the main hall of the Emerald Buddha Temple yesterday. The Emerald Buddha wears a robe that is changed three times a year. A diamond encrusted golden robe is worn by the Buddha image during the hot season. A golden robe is worn by the Buddha image during the cold season. A gilded monk’s robe is worn by the image during the rainy season.
The nation and the entire Buddhist community are mourning the loss of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana Mahathera, who died at Chulalongkorn Hospital on the evening of Thursday 24th October 2013. He was 100 years old. His Holiness had been ill since 20th February 2002, when he was admitted to Chulalongkorn Hospital.
The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) has revealed more than a 111 temples across the country have been seriously affected by the flooding to the level that monks cannot go out to receive alms-offering. NOB Director General Nopparat Benjawatananun said that the situation has been so serious that monks at these flood-hit temples have to move things to a higher ground while finding it impossible to go out to receive daily alms-offering. He added that the NOB is still awaiting the damage report from the southern region as the number of temples and monks hit by floods remain unknown. As these temples have been literally cut off from the world, the NOB Director General is asking the public to provide necessities to the flood-affected monks (NNT).
Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Vichaidit said that he wants to promote the Phra Borommathat Chedi at Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan Temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat province as a UNESCO’s world heritage site. According to the Minister, he will ask the cabinet later this month to propose that the Phra Borommathat Chedi be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He asserted that the government is willing to give its full support in order to achieve the goal and secure the Buddhist pagoda the world heritage status.
Mr. Yongyuth pointed out that proposing the matter to the cabinet during the upcoming mobile cabinet meeting in the southern province of Phuket during 19-20 March, is most opportune since the cabinet will be meeting in the region where the pagoda is situated. Additionally, the locals of Nakhon Si Thammarat province and the southern region will also rejoice at the news and demonstrate their pride in this significant religious site.
Source: National News Bureau
Buddhist Thais are expected to spend nearly six percent more on the merit-making activities during Magha Puja Day, according to a recent survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Around THB2.6 billion would be circulated during Magha Buja Day this year, which is 5.6 percent up from the THB 2.5 billion spent last year. On average, one Buddhist is likely to spend THB1,000 on religious purposes. The spending increase results from the price hike.
The poll has also found that Thai people are less interested in going to temples. Fifty-six percent of the respondents go to the temple no more than three times a month. Thirty-five percent go to the temple no more than five times a year.
Nearly 60 percent pay less importance to major religious days, whereas 36 percent view major religious days as important as ever. Only two percent pay more attention to major religious events while three percent pay no attention at all.
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents can explain the importance of Magha Puja Day. The rest either give a wrong answer or have no idea about this festival.
Fifty-two percent define religion as something they can cling to spiritually, 23 percent view religion as a form of tradition or rite, and 22 percent view religion as the guideline of life.
Source: National News Bureau