Judging by these photos that I took early this morning, not everyone was nursing hangovers after welcoming in the New Year at midnight last night. Like thousands of other local people from Paknam, I was up early at 6 a.m. to head down to the City Pillar where the main road through town had been closed for a merit making ceremony. This is a traditional Thai way of bringing yourself good luck for the new year.
Exactly 99 monks from nine local temples were invited to attend the chanting and merit making. Tables had been lined up on both sides of the road and people came early with food and essential supplies to offer to the monks. After the chanting, the Governor of Samut Prakan then gave everyone a blessing for a prosperous new year. Then the 99 monks came out to receive the alms.
It was all over almost before it had started. Taking pictures of the mass alms giving is always a bit difficult. Apart from being so many people there, each monk had a helper who had to keep emptying the alms bowl by pouring the contents into a sack. They often walked in front of the monks that sometimes blocked our view. I took lots of pictures but I had to make sure that I got at least one good one of the Governor and his wife for the local newspaper. Visit our www.paknam.com website for more local news. I have also posted many more pictures and a video of this event.