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News and Events in Thailand
International Makha Bucha Hae Phra Khuen That Festival

Date: February 13 - 15, 2012
Venue: at Si Thammasokarat Park and Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan Temple, Nakhon Si Thammarat province

The Hae Pha Kuen That ritual is unique to the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Holy cloth, known as Phra bot, is draped around the stupa in a merit-making ritual.

The custom reflects a form of communal merit-making designed to strengthen community spirit and foster unity and has been diligently observed for some 800 years. According to Buddhist belief, participation in communal merit-making earns an individual more merit.

The International Makha Bucha Hae Pha Khuen That Festival and the ritual draping of the holy cloth will be held at Si Thammasokarat Park and Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan Temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat during February 13 - 15.

Several countries have been invited to participate in the festival in an effort to promote cross-border religious tourism. These include Sri Lanka, India, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.

The following four destinations have been designed as pilgrimage cities:
- The four sacred Buddhist sites in India
- Anuradhapura and Pollonaruwa in Sri Lanka
- Shwedagon pagoda in Myanmar
- Phra Borom That stupa in Nakhon Si Thammarat

The festival aims to promote Buddhist customs and traditions to tourists so that they not only share in the cultural experience but also gain knowledge and insight.

- Tracing religious doctrine to the Land of Buddhism
- Worship of the Phra bot holy cloths depicting tales of the life of the Lord Buddha
- Procession of the Phra bot holy cloth representing the four regions of Thailand and those from the participating countries
- Cooking of Madhupayat rice and ceremony

The festival is jointly organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality, Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat University, Suansangsun Nakhon-Bauwornrat and Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives.

Contact information:
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Nakhon Si Thammarat Office
Tel: +66 (0) 7534 6515-6
Fax: +66 (0) 7534 6517

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