PRAYING, NOT PARTYINGPhra Mahatak Jariyawaso
The assistant abbot of Wat Hua Lamphong, Phra Mahatak organised and lead a New Year chantingceremony at the temple on Monday night. An interview with him about the event follows:
Q - Normally a monk is strictlyobligated to turn in early. How do you feel about making an exception on New Year's Eve?
A - I don't mind that at all. I am aware that New Year celebrations are very important to most people. That's a good thing. But when they want to chant all night at the temple instead of going out, that's even better.
I don't think it's against the monastery rules; on the contrary, I think it's a monk's duty to lead such a meaningful ceremony that connects the secular and clerical worlds together. I'm very proud to help make them happy.
Q - Is chanting becoming a more popular way to bring in the New Year?
A - Such ceremonies have nothing to do with popularity. I believe people want to use the occasion to …