Floral merit-making

The Marble Temple. Pichaya Svasti

To mark Asarnha Bucha and Khao Phansa days, special activities will be held at a number of Buddhist temples in Bangkok from Saturday to Monday.

Asarnha Bucha commemorates the full moon day of the eighth lunar month when the Buddha delivered his first sermon to the first five disciples, while Wan Khao Phansa, the first day of Buddhist lent, falls a day after Asarnha Bucha.

Buddhist lent was initiated about 2,600 years ago when the Buddha prohibited monks from travelling and staying overnight outside their temples during the monsoons to prevent them from stepping on growing rice, plants and animals. During the three-month lent, monks must stay at their temples and strictly observe dhamma, while Buddhists make merit by presenting saffron robes and candles to monks.

On the weekend, the floral merit-making and duen thian (candle procession) will take place at Wat Ratchabophit with aim to encourage Buddhists to conserve the lent-related traditions and boost the stability of Buddhism.

On Asarnha Bucha, the circumambulation ceremony will be performed around the ordination hall every hour from 9am-8pm.

On Khao Phansa, Buddhists will present flowers to monks by placing the flowers in their alms bowls at 5pm.

Call the TAT Contact Centre on 1672.

Free bus tours to temples

From Saturday to Aug 31, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) will provide free bus trips around Rattanakosin Island to 11 Buddhist temples, which house and used to house the Thai supreme patriarchs.

The service will run from 9am-5pm on Saturdays, Sundays and official holidays. Each trip begins at the Marble Temple and continues to Wat Maha That, Wat Pho, Wat Ratchapradit, Wat Suthas, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Bowon Niwet, Wat Saket, Wat Makut Kasat, Wat Rakhang and ends at Wat Ratchabophit, where the current Supreme Patriarch resides.

The trips are free, but participants must pay ferry fare from Tha Chang pier to Wat Rakhang.

Call the TAT Contact Centre on 1672.

Pattaya marathon

On Sept 3, the "Pattaya Marathon 2017" will take place on a beautiful route that starts and finishes at Central Festival Pattaya Beach department store. The route runs alongside Jomtien Beach past Bali Hai Pier and a 2km uphill slope towards Khao Phra Tamnak and Beach Road.

Postponed from the original schedule -- July 16, the race is divided into five categories: a 42km marathon with five age groups of men and four age groups of women; a 21.10km half marathon with four age groups, a 10.55km quarter marathon with four age groups; a 10.55km wheelchair; and a 3.70km fun run.

Winners in each group of each gender will be bestowed with the King's Cup and five runners-up in each age group of each gender will get trophies and cash prizes worth more than 2 million baht.

Visit www.facebook.com/Pattaya-Marathon or call the TAT Pattaya Office on 038-427-667.

Email pichayas@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any news to share.

Wat Ratchabophit. Pichaya Svasti

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