Over a million Buddhists gather to venerate Buddha’s relics in Bangkok

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Sanam Luang in Bangkok recently played host to over 1 million Buddhists who congregated to venerate the relics of the Lord Buddha and his chief disciples, Sariputra and Moggallana.

The Ministry of Culture reported this mass gathering took place between February 24 and March 3. The Culture Minister, Sermsak Pongpanich, revealed that roughly 100,000 Buddhists visited each day during the nine-day display period.

The Indian government transferred the relics to Thailand to celebrate His Majesty the King’s 6th-cycle birthday, his 72nd, which will occur on July 28, and to observe Makha Bucha Day, on February 24.

As of now, the relics have been moved to Chiang Mai and are on display at the Royal Pavillion, or Ho Kham Luang, in Royal Park Rajapruek. Visitors can view the relics from 9am to 8pm until this Friday.

The local high-ranking Buddhist monks, Culture Ministry executives, and Chiang Mai’s governor Nirat Pongsitthaworn greeted the relics’ arrival in Chiang Mai. A grand parade, complete with local cultural elements, ushered the relics to the Royal Pavillion.

Visitors can choose to pay their respects during a morning or afternoon session, with each session accommodating up to 3,000 attendees. Every evening, between 6pm and 7pm, a special ceremony will be held to bless the Buddhists who have come to venerate the relics, reported Bangkok Post.

Pongpanich anticipates that the Chiang Mai exhibition and other regional exhibitions will attract a significant number of Buddhists. After their stint in Chiang Mai, the relics will move on to Ubon Ratchathani, where they will be displayed between March 10 and 13, and then to Krabi from March 15 to 18. Following these exhibitions, the relics will be returned to India, according to authorities.

In related news, the collaborative salvage operation between the Royal Thai Navy and the United States Navy unearthed a Buddha sculpture and several documents from the sunken HTMS Sukhothai on its third day. This information was relayed by Royal Admiral Veerudom Muangjin, a spokesperson for the Royal Thai Navy, who shared that these items were found by a combined diving team near the primary engine’s hatch.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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