Thailand urges public to mark Makha Bucha Day online
BANGKOK – People concerned of visiting a temple to celebrate Makha Bucha Day due to COVID-19 are being invited to participate in an online circumambulation taking place at www.มาฆบูชาเวียนเทียนออนไลน์.com
Prime Minister’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai, as head of the National Office of Buddhism, explained that while Buddhist activities are held nationwide each year to mark Makha Bucha Day, the COVID-19 situation has prompted the Supreme Sangha Council to decide on avoiding activities this year in compliance with government requirements to reduce crowding. Temples have been asked to stringently maintain health and safety measures if they welcome visitors while the general public is being invited to practice their religious beliefs online at www.มาฆบูชาเวียนเทียนออนไลน์.com
Wat Saket is one location that will be holding a circumambulation ceremony but is doing so with observance to the New Normal. Minister of Culture Itthiphol Kunplome, leading ministry executives, representatives of the Department of Religious Affairs and representatives from the Public Relations Department, this morning engaged in alms giving and merit making. All of the proceedings were broadcast live via Facebook as will a circumambulation ceremony in service to faithful who have chosen to remain at home.
Asked about merit making for hire, the minister remarked it was in line with the requirements of the times but encouraged buyers to ensure their hires were actually making merit as failure to do so would be illegal. So far, no reports of swindling have been made. (NNT)