Devotees flock to the Mekong River to worship Buddhist saint for good luck

Published on 3 Mar 2016 10:52:13 AM

Over 100,000 Thais and Laotioans recently took part in a ceremony at the Mekong River to worship a Buddhist saint, whose image was raised from underwater for the occasion.
The annual ceremony, held for nine days and nine nights between Jan 27 and Feb 4, saw worshippers from both countries paying their respects to an Arhat named Phra Uppakhut/Upagupta, believed to still be alive and residing underwater in oceans and rivers.
A senior Thai official needs to go underwater to collect Phra Uppakhut's image and raise it overhead thrice in a ceremonial gesture, before the image is ushered around Nakhon Phanom.
According to a Buddhist legend, Phra Uppakhut attained Nirvana hundreds of years after Lord Buddha's passing.
It is believed that those who worship Phra Uppakhut will obtain good luck in their businesses.