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The Tourism Authority of Thailand has announced that it will postpone its annual celebrations for the Loy Krathong festival in honor of the late Supreme Patriarch.
Thawatchai Arunyik, TAT deputy governor for domestic marketing, said that festivities will be suspended as the country is in mourning.
The new date for the festival that is normally celebrated annual on the full moon of the 12th lunar month by people floating decorated krathongs on rivers, ponds and canals will be discussed by the TAT when the mourning period is over.
The Supreme Patriarch had been suffering from ill health since 2002 when he was admitted to Chulalongkorn Hospital. He had his one hundredth birthday on October 3rd and more than three thousand people came to the hospital to sign the well-wishers book. He was born on October 1913 in Kanchanaburi province and was formerly known as Charoen Gajavatra. He completed Prathom 5 at the age of 14, he was ordained as a novice at Wat Devasangaram (Wat Nua), Kanchanaburi.
A year later, Novice Charoen was accepted by Somdet Phra Vajirananavong, the abbot of Wat Bowon Niwet to undertake Buddhist studies, completing the basic curriculum as well as learning the Pali language. His Majesty the King bestowed the title of Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara ( a special honour in the Thai monastic hierarchy reserved for monks who excelled in Vipassana meditation that had not been granted in over one hundred and fifty years) to Phra Sasanasobhon in 1972. The World Buddhist Supreme Conference last year bestowed the title of the Supreme Holiness of World Buddhism on the Supreme Patriarch during a Buddhist summit in Japan, attended by Sangha leaders from 32 nationals worldwide.