Thailand's Buddhism ruling body bans temples from holding religious gatherings for Visakha Bucha

Buddhist worshippers walk around Wat Samian Nari temple in Bangkok, on April 15, 2020.
Buddhist worshippers walk around Wat Samian Nari temple in Bangkok, on April 15, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thailand's Buddhism ruling body has ordered all temples under its jurisdiction both in the country and overseas to suspend all religious rituals for the Visakha Bucha Day on Wednesday (May 6).

The Sangha Supreme Council's order is to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesperson for Thailand's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Tuesday.

However, a religious ritual held at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara will be broadcast live on the temple's Facebook page. The ceremony will begin at 7pm with monks circling the temple with lighted candles, followed by a sermon from the abbot and prayers until the morning of the following day.

Visakha Bucha Day, also known as Buddha Day or Vesak Day, is a holiday observed by Buddhists around the world. In Singapore, the day is marked on Thursday this year.