You Can Meditate With a Monk and Experience Thailand’s Festival of Lights From Home This Weekend

Loy Krathong Festival Thailand

You’re probably stressed and suffering from extreme wanderlust, and Thailand wants to help. 

This Saturday, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is hosting a virtual event it hopes will help audiences find their inner peace in this uncertain world. The event includes a virtual meditation and mindfulness session with Canadian-born Buddhist Monk Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu followed by livestreams from Loy Krathong, the country’s annual Festival of Light. 

Bhikkhu was ordained in 2001 and has nearly two decades of experience teaching intensive meditation around the world. He is the author of two books, "How To Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide To Peace" and "Lessons in Practical Buddhism."

“It’s said that Buddha’s teachings through monk chats are the reason why Thai people always smile, even through difficult times,” Thai tourism official Charinya Kiatlapnachai said in a statement. 

Thailand closed its borders in March as countries around the world were doing the same in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. Thailand has reported fewer than 4,000 coronavirus cases and 59 deaths during the pandemic. Thailand saw its first international visitors in seven months in early October but remains off-limits for many tourists. 

“Until the Land of Smiles welcomes back travelers once again, we will share the powerful spirit of the destination with travelers digitally,” Kiatlapnachai said. 

As part of Saturday’s event, the Thai tourism ministry plans to stream Loy Krathong celebrations from Wat Mahathat and Ayutthaya. To celebrate Loy Krathong, people across the country typically release lotus-shaped baskets decorated with candles and flowers onto rivers and other waterways. Saturday’s programming includes fireworks as well as performances by Thai artists and musicians. 

The experience is being hosted on Zoom Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET, but you’ll want to make sure to register online. 

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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