Thousands gather in Thailand for New Year’s blessings and cultural preservation

Photo courtesy of Chakrapan Natanri

New Year’s Day was marked with customary merit-making and prayers for blessings across Thailand, with thousands of locals and tourists converging at popular sites to witness the first light of 2024. An estimated 5,000 individuals turned out to give alms to over 200 Buddhist monks and novices at the city pillar in Muang district, Khon Kaen province. The event symbolised a quest for peace, prosperity, and the preservation of local culture, according to Khon Kaen governor Kraisorn Kongchalad.

“The alms-giving event is aimed at seeking peace and a fortunate life for Khon Kaen people. It also prolongs the beautiful tradition and culture of the locality. People, government officials and representatives of the private sector experience unity in the activity,” stated Khon Kaen governor Kraisorn Kongchalad..

In the province of Buri Ram, locals and visitors bathed in the first light of the New Year at the ancient Phanom Rung temple, located in the Phanom Rung Historical Park, in the belief that the light would bring good fortune. The morning temperature at the highland park was a cool 15 degrees Celsius.

In Nakhon Ratchasima province, a total of 109 Buddhist monks received alms at the Thao Suranari monument in Muang district. Additionally, more than 10,000 tourists camped overnight in Khao Yai National Park to count down to the New Year.

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Around 20,000 individuals, primarily foreigners, congregated on Rin Beach on the southern island of Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province for the New Year countdown. They remained there until Monday morning to witness the very first sunrise of 2024.

In the capital, Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, was teeming with people seeking blessings for the new year, reported by Bangkok Post. In line with tradition, the admission fee was waived for visitors on New Year’s Day.

Thailand 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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