In Bangkok, Thailand, more than 200,000 Buddhists gathered at conference service Zoom on Friday to attend the annual Magha Puja celebration, which includes a prayer and lantern ritual, Reuters reported.
It is one of the most important holidays in religion, commemorating the day when 1,250 monks gathered so that the Buddha could consecrate them to their mission more than 2,500 years ago.
The day is a national holiday in Thailand.
Monks moving into place before prayer.Picture: Jack Taylor / AFP / Magazine
The ritual begins with prayer as a bale on which ancient Buddhist texts are written.
It is read from the podium inside the holy stupa.
After this, hundreds of monks light lanterns.
More than a thousand Buddhist monks gathered on the holiday at Wat Phra Dhammakay. Photo: Andre Malerba / Zuma / MVPhotos
Usually, the day gathers tens of thousands of believers in the Dhammakaya Temple on the outskirts of Bangkok.
This year, however, the temple hosted a 280-meter-long LED display at the venue that allowed believers to participate virtually in the ritual.
- Due to the Covid-19 situation, we will be holding the ceremony virtually this year.
It is usually attended by hundreds of thousands of believers on site who light lanterns here, Pha Sanitwong Wuttisangwo, the communications manager for the temple, said.
- With today's technology, we are able to connect people through Zoom so that believers can join us virtually.
Volunteer firing a lantern with a respirator on his face.Photo: Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters
In addition, 1,000 believers, mostly dressed in white, were allowed to attend the ceremony and light lanterns on behalf of the virtual participants as well.
Usually, tens of thousands of people attend a Buddhist celebration.
This year, the population was reduced to a minimum to prevent coronavirus infections.Photo: Andre Malerba / Zuma / MVPhotos
People praying while the screen conveys an image of thousands of Buddhists virtually participating in the event.Photo: Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters
Volunteers responsible for the virtual presentation of the event.Photo: Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters
This year, the Dhammakaya Temple hosted a 280-meter-long LED display. Photo: Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters
View of Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple on Friday 26th February.
100,000 candles were lit on the spot on Buddhist holiday.
More than a million members of the religion followed the event remotely. Photo: Andre Malerba / Zuma / MVPhotos
Buddhist monks leading a lantern procession in Sukhothai province.Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP / Lehtikuva