Saying prayers on New Year’s Eve
In Thailand, the saying of prayers on New Year’s Eve is a tradition started by Somdet Phra Putthajarn Kiew Ouppaseno, abbot of Bangkok’s Saket Ratchavaramahavihara Temple, in 2005. The aim is to draw the attention of mainly male Buddhists away from vices, because many would patronize vice dens to celebrate the New Year, according to Phra Khru Srivaranukit, the abbot of Ratchasingkhorn Temple.
The tradition has spread to temples across the country and, over the years, more and more Buddhist disciples have joined the prayer chanting every year, for their own blessing and that of their loved ones.
For the year 2020, the Sangha Supreme Council has instructed all temples in Thailand, and abroad, to hold prayers on New Year’s Eve and into the following day.
Ratchasingkhorn Temple will also hold a special session to allow Buddhist disciples, who have questions about Buddhism, to have them answered by monks.