BANGKOK, Thailand -- Buddhist Thais nationwide marked Vesak Day on Monday which this year also was in commemoration of the 2,600th anniversary of the enlightenment of the Lord Buddha, or Buddha Jayanti.
Vesak Day is celebrated to commemorate the three major events in Buddha’s life – his birth, enlightenment and passing away.
In the capital, Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra led Buddhist Thais, mostly wearing white, to mark the special day of Buddhism to give alms to monks at Sanam Luang where a variety of activities including exhibitions on Buddha’s life, Dharma lectures and Buddhist practices were held for Buddhism Promotion Week and the International Day of Vesak, in honor of Buddha’s 2,600 years of enlightenment.
Buddha relics were moved from the Grand Palace to Sanam Luang for the public to pay homage during the special occasion.
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit is scheduled to attend the ceremony at Sanam Luang at 5.35pm, while HRH Princess Sirindhorn will represent the Queen at a ceremony held at Buddhamonthon in Nakhon Pathom at 4pm.
Meanwhile, Buddhists nationwide also marked the occasion by making merit at temples.
In Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Si Sa Ket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Phanom, Surat Thani, people gave alms to monks in the morning and prepared for light waving rite in the evening.
The United Nations declared Vesak as an International Day in 1999 and encouraged the celebration to be marked around the world.