Individuals seeking a life of happiness and success have been taking part in an unusual ritual at Wat Saralee in Thailand’s Nonthaburi province which involves monks gilding their entire face with gold leaf sheets.
Phra Khru Samunoppadol Piyathammo, the temple abbot, said that the ritual is known as Na Nar Tong and serves to remind people to always be mindful and to practise the five precepts of Buddhism.
According to the abbot, individuals have mystic symbols drawn on their hands and gold leaf applied all over their faces, which will bring them good luck and happiness.
To participate in this ritual, individuals must first contact the temple and make a reservation.
While the ritual continued to gain in popularity, a famous abbot from another temple in Nonthaburi reminded people to think carefully before participating in the gold leaf face gilding ritual.
According to Phra Phayom Kalayano of Wat Suan Kaew, followers should instead focus on heeding karma, observing diligence, and doing good for others.
In an afternoon visit to Wat Saralee, Nonthhaburi’s provincial governor Phra Ratchanantamunee a former monk asked the abbot to refrain from performing the gold leaf rituals and to take precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The abbot confirmed that he would comply with the governor’s request and has temporarily suspended the gold face gilding ritual until covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.