There’s no doubt that pandemic fatigue is high. I get it. Heck, my area has restrictions right now. But it’s important to remember that there are ways that we can get together as a community while being safe and considerate of others. If you need an example, check out the more than 200,000 Buddhists that got together via Zoom on Friday to celebrate Makha Bucha Day.
One of Buddhists’ Holiest Holidays
As explained by Reuters, Makha Bucha Day is an annual prayer and lantern ritual and one of Buddhists’ holiest holidays. Observed on the third lunar moon, the holiday celebrates the day when 1,250 monks gathered to be ordained by the Buddha more than 2,500 years ago.
Before the Pandemic, Hundreds of Thousands Would Gather on This Day
In non-pandemic times, hundreds of thousands of people would gather at the Dhammakaya Temple in Bangkok, Thailand, the outlet stated. Although the temple didn’t receive that many in-person visits on Makha Bucha Day this year, it sure got a lot of virtual visitors.
Pandemic Restrictions Moved the Temple’s Ceremony Online
Temple officials stated that they decided to have a virtual ceremony as a precaution due to pandemic restrictions.
The Temple Decided to Connect With People Via Zoom
Pha Sanitwong Wuttisangwo, the Dhammakaya Temple’s communications director, told Reuters that technology played a key role in the ceremony this year.
“With the technology that we have today, we are able to connect with people via Zoom so that devotees can join us online,” the director said.
There’s Just Something About a Big Screen Filled With People
While this certainly isn’t the first mass event to be held online, seeing a 280-metre-long screen (280.42 m) filled with faces is quite a sight.
Lighting a Candle for Participants
And although the virtual participants weren’t able to visit the temple and light a candle, officials made sure there was someone in their stead. A group of 1,000 Buddhists were present to light candles in the name of the ceremony participants.