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Joining Visakha Puja Celebration to Make Merit for Their Majesties the King and Queen

May 12, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

14127105153pThai Buddhist temples all over the world will organize religious activities to make merit for Their Majesties the King and Queen, as part of the celebration of the World Day of Vesak, or Visakha Puja, 2014.

The decision was made by the Sangha Supreme Council in advance of Visakha Puja, the holiest day of the year for Buddhists everywhere.

It is also meant to pay tribute to His Majesty the King on the occasion of his 87th birthday and to Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her 82nd birthday.

The Day of Vesak commemorates the birth of the Buddha, his attainment of enlightenment, and his passing away. An extraordinary aspect of the occasion is that the three incidents took place on the same day but different years. In 2014, this significant day coincides with 13 May.

The Visakha Puja Festival is recognized as an international event by the United Nations. To celebrate this occasion, Thailand is holding a Buddhism week from 9 to 13 May 2014 at Buddhamonthon, a Buddhist religious center in Nakhon Pathom province. At the Sanam Luang ceremonial site in Bangkok, activities to celebrate the Buddhism week will be held between 11 and 17 May. 

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening of the Buddhism week at Sanam Luang on 11 May. Among various activities at Sanam Luang are Dhamma lectures, sermons, prayers, alms-offering, and candlelight procession. The Religious Affairs Department is also joining hands with the Ministry of Transport in organizing religious tours of nine temples in Bangkok and nearby provinces.

Starting from 7 May, 1,290 monks across the country have joined a spiritual walk to celebrate the World Day of Vesak. The walk began in Ayutthaya province, passing through Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, and Udon Thani, and will end in Nong Khai province in the Northeast.

Buddhism is the religion observed by the majority of the population in Thailand. At present, Thailand is the location of the headquarters of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, an international Buddhist organization which promotes coordination and cooperation to enhance Buddhism throughout the world.

The Buddha taught mutual loving-kindness and forbearance for the sake of peace and happiness in society. Since these principles are shared by the United Nations Charter, the United Nations declared that Visakha Puja was a day of universal significance, and directed that observances be held, as appropriate, at the United Nations Headquarters and other United Nations offices in May each year.

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