The merit-making began at 7:30am, led by Governor Norraphat and his wife, Sudarat Plodthong, who as the incumbent Governor’s wife is also the President of the Phuket chapter of the Red Cross Society of Thailand.
Also present were all three Phuket Vice Governors Snith Sriwihok, Prakob Wongmaneerung and Thawornwat Khongkaew; soldiers from the Royal Thai Army, police as well as students and members of the public – all providing offerings to 299 monks at the ceremony.
Phra Ratchasiri Munee, who is the abbot of Wat Tha Ruea Temple and the lead abbot for all Buddhist temples in Phuket, shared 11 virtues of good living.
“Sleep well, wake up well, be rid of evil, be conscious (or “aware”) through meditation, have good dreams, give love to humans and give to love to non-humans, seek protection by angels, be cheerful, do not fear death and reach to understand the teachings of the Buddha, then, the your life will flourish,” he said.
Governor Norraphat also shared his New Year message to the people.
“By New Year 2018, I would like to ask Phuket people for three things. First, we have to keep Phuket clean together, because litter causes pollution and affects what our island looks like to tourists. I want Phuket to look nice to others, too,” he said.
“Second, we will find a way to solve the flood problem with a project to build small dams. Please, Phuket residents, cooperate and agree (and support) this project.
“Third, there have been two deaths (in Phuket) during the Seven Days of Danger (road-safety campaign). Most accidents involve motorbikes. Drivers in Phuket must be aware of this. Together, we must prevent road accidents and make traffic safer,” he added.
Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana also shared her New Year blessings with the people.
“May love and wishes be received by everyone, with good health and (everyone) achieving their goals in 2018,” she said.