Prominent local monks confirmed with The Pattaya News that temples in Pattaya and Banglamung will be allowed to mark Makha Bucha day, including candle processions under Covid-19 precautions, but that there would be no major fairs or events like prior years.
The Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand (monks committee) concluded earlier this week that no major ceremonies will be held for Makha Bucha Day in temples around Bangkok and other regions in Thailand, such as temple fairs, markets, displays of religious items, public monk “parades”, monk sermons, feasts, group prayer, making merit in-person to monks, etc. However, people will be allowed to walk a candle procession at participating temples around parts of temples wearing masks and socially distanced as is tradition on the day. (On Makha Bucha, traditionally people walk clockwise around the ordination hall or pagoda three times with a candle, flowers, and incense as part of a religious ceremony.)
Makha Bucha Day, which is also a no alcohol sales day, falls this Friday, February 26th, 2021.
The Banglamung district monk leader Phra Kru Pipitkitjarak told local media, “The final decision for what ceremonies will take place depends on each individual area announcement or order.”
“If any temple allows candle processions they should provide social distancing, require mask-wearing, and have a limitation of people in each round of the procession with no other ceremonies.” Phra Kru Pipitkitjarak continued.
“Every temple in Banglamung is similar to other temples but there will be no major ceremonies with thousands of people like previous years. Buddhists can walk around chapels with candles, incense, and flowers if they follow the Covid-19 rules and restrictions.” Phra Kru Pipitkitjarak added.
“Nongprue Temple will be open for candle processions from 8:00 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. Everyone must wear a face mask.” Phra Kru Pipitkitjarak concluded.
The Pattaya News was also informed that most, but not all, local temples will allow candle processions and that one should check with their local temple in advance to ensure they will be allowing scaled-back religious activities and marking of the important religious day at the temple of their choice.
Story by The Pattaya News
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