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Thai Budhists crowd Wat Ratchabophit to pay respect to Supreme Patriarch

Wat Ratchabophit was crowded with Thai Buddhists today coming to pay respect to the kingdom's 20th supreme patriarch after yesterday's formal installation at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Ariya Wongsa Khottayan allowed Thai Buddhists in black and white to pay respect to him for the first day today.

The assistant to the Supreme Patriarch said the people will be allowed to pay respect in two periods of time, 09.00-10.30 am and 14.00-16.00 pm. But all have to register first before being granted permission into the chapel to pay respect to him.

Only 10 people will be allowed in at each turn to pay respect to the Supreme Patriarch.

The assistant also made clear to every people that no valuables will be allowed to be offered except flowers, food and other daily necessities. No pictures are allowed to be taken while paying respect to him.

Each people will be given a commemorative coin bearing the emblem of the Supreme Patriarch and his biography book.

However these commemorative coins will be given to those faithful Buddhists in a limited edition of only 20,000, with no commercial purpose, he said.

Yesterday His Majesty the King presided over the ceremony to formally install Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, the abbot of Wat Ratchabophit, as the 20th Supreme Patriarch at the ubosot of Wat Phra Srirattana Sasadaram or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The investiture ceremony was attended by members of the Privy Council, the cabinet, presidents of the National Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Court and members of the Supreme Sangha Council among others.

Thousands of people of different walks of life gathered outside the ubosot to join the auspicious occasion while over 40,000 temples across the country and in foreign countries also joined the celebration of the installation of the new Supreme Patriarch.

Monks chanted prayers as bells and gongs were sounded during the ceremony which was broadcast live nationwide.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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