Worshippers urged to shift to electric incense to reduce pollution

Worshippers urged to shift to electric incense to reduce pollution

A woman prays for blessing at Wat Boromracha, better known as Wat Lengnoeiyi 2, in Bang Bua Thong district, Nonthaburi, as all Thais celebrated the Chinese New Year last year. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A woman prays for blessing at Wat Boromracha, better known as Wat Lengnoeiyi 2, in Bang Bua Thong district, Nonthaburi, as all Thais celebrated the Chinese New Year last year. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is seeking help from shrines and worshippers to promote the use of electric incense during Lunar New Year, as the capital grapples with air pollution caused by micro dust.

City Hall also asked people to reduce or entirely refrain from burning paper offerings and joss paper for their ancestors during the traditional festivities.

BMA spokesman Ekwaranyu Amrapan said on Thursday that the city administration seeks collaboration from all religious places and people to switch from traditional incense to electric ones, while acknowledging the importance of burning incense sticks in the Chinese New Year rituals. Burning papers for deceased individuals should be limited or eliminated, he added.

This cooperative effort aims to mitigate the impact of hazardous PM2.5 particles and is part of several safety measures for Bangkok residents as the nation celebrates Lunar New Year.

The capital and other provinces have been plagued by tiny dust particles since Thailand entered the cold season. As of Thursday, ultrafine dust continued to affect 48 provinces, although Bangkok was not on the list.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt in December blamed barbecue restaurants for their contribution to air pollution in the city. "We even thought about working with barbecue restaurants in risk areas so they can have vacuum systems to reduce small dust in the air," he said.

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