December 28, 2023
BANGKOK – The event was held by the Muang Chiang Rai Municipality with cooperation from Wat Ming Muang in Chiang Rai’s Muang district.
As part of the alms-giving rite, which is held twice a year, Buddhists and tourists line up for more than a kilometre on the road from Wat Ming Muang, past the city clock tower, to the Chiang Rai Gate to give alms to monks.
Phra Khru Sophon Silpakhom, the abbott of Wat Ming Muang, led monks coming from many temple in the northern province to collect alms from believers along the way.
The municipality also held a procession of the statue of Upagupta for Buddhists to pay their respects. Believers say Upagupta was a Buddhist monk who preached and taught meditative practices in Northwest India over 2,000 years ago.
The midnight alms-giving is held twice yearly on the night of a full moon falling on a Wednesday. This year, the rites were held on the night of April 4 (the early hours of April 5) and in the night of December 26 (early hours of December 27).
The northern Lanna culture believes that Upagupta once transformed himself into a novice to collect alms in the full moon night in order to bless the alms-givers with prosperity.