SONGKHLA: About 10,000 monks from four countries gathered in the middle of Hat Yai city on Sunday morning to receive offerings of alms from Thai and foreign Buddhists in a traditional event which is held annually.
A ceremony for the mass alms offerings started at 6am on Nipat Uthit 3 road in the Hat Yai Municipality, presided over by Somdet Phra Maha Vajiramangalachan, chief of the southern Buddhist sector, with Maj Gen Pakorn Chantarachota, commander of the 42nd Army Circle, in attendance.
The monks were from the 14 provinces of southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
The activity also drew thousands of Buddhist worshippers from the four countries.
Withaya Sae Lim, spokesman for the organising committee, said this year's activity was the 20th after a three-year break because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The activity was also intended to boost tourism in Songkhla, particularly Hat Yai city.
"All hotels in Hat Yai were fully booked by pilgrims. It was believed at least 20,000 tourists attended today's activity, generating at least 180 million baht in revenue," he said.
The alms given to the monks would be further distributed to 323 temples around southern Thailand and to soldiers on duty along the southern border with Malaysia, he added.