Thai Buddhists throughout the country on Saturday morning have flocked to temples to make merit on Buddhist Lent Day, wishing for national peace and personal luck.
In Phitsanulok, Governor Preecha Ruangchan and residents donned white clothing and gathered at Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat Temple, the main and most important temple of the province, to offer food and necessities to monks on the religious occasion of Buddhist Lent Day.
In Chiang Rai, Thai and Myanmar Buddhists thronged to worship relics of the Lord Buddha contained in the holy Phra That Doi Tung at Phra That Doi Tung temple. They also offered monks necessities, including candles and robes. They hoped that such offerings on Buddhist Lent Day would help carry on the religious tradition, as well as bring their families and themselves good luck.
The northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani annually holds the biggest and the most spectacular Buddhist Lent Candle Festival in Thailand.
In the Thai capital, Bangkok residents also went to nearby temples to give fresh and dried foods to monks during the morning alms rounds.
The Buddhist Lent is a period devoted to study and meditation. Buddhist monks remain within the temple grounds and will not venture out for a period of three months starting from the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month, coinciding on July 16 this year, to the fifteenth day of the eleventh lunar month.
In ancient times, this tradition was intended so monks could avoid crossing rice paddies when they went out to receive offerings from villagers.