Valentine's Day yesterday was touched with spiritualism as Makha Bucha - marked on the full moon of the third month every year - fell on the same day.
While many social-media users began posting photographs of themselves making merit at temples to mark Makha Bucha – the day 1,250 monks returned from their forest retreats to hear a sermon by the Buddha 2,500 years ago – many had been posting photos and messages about “love” since Thursday.
Some of these Valentine’s messages and images were romantic, some funny, while some – posted by single people – were complaints.
Vittratorn Chirapravati, a Chulalongkorn University lecturer for advertising who goes by the name Krukie Monster on Facebook, posted on Thursday: “Tomorrow is Makha Bucha Day and Valentine’s. I will act like Julia Roberts. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.” Yesterday she shared photographs of sacred Buddhist sites and a message: “Love out loud”.
The ChillFM89 fanpage on Thursday posted a photo with the message: “Only a few hours left. Urgent … Single promotion. Fan [boyfriend/girlfriend] is needed to welcome Valentine’s Day.”
Jeabi Denskoon shared a graphic created by www.kapook.com, which depicted 14 kinds of people on Valentine’s Day, such as those who have several “gigs” or sweethearts, those who are too choosy or those who fall in love easily. On one end of the graphic are those who are totally single, on the other end are married couples, while those in the centre are people whose relationship status is unclear.
Ball Sathapat posted photographs of him with his dog, saying, “Spending a day off with my Valentine.”
Chanoi Bancha posted: “Love makes the world peaceful.”
Wattanee Niyomyath said: “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first. Happy Valentine’s and Makha Bucha Day!”
On Twitter, well-known Buddhist monk Paisal Visalo (@Pvisalo) posted: “Do you love yourself? If you do, don’t cultivate anger, don’t collect hatred in your heart. Forgive and be kind.”
TV personality @ning_saisawan posted: “I returned to my home town to hug my grandma. Though I can’t help her recover, I can at least show her my love. This is the Day of Love.”
@announzer posted: “On Valentine’s, I go home and hug my parents. So warm.”
@phuphu tweeted an announcement from the so-called Centre for Maintaining the Well-being of Singles, listing 10 places that single people should avoid, such as temples, theatres, shopping complexes, anywhere with a view, with the 10th place being “your next-door neighbour at night”.
Some social-media users focused more on Makha Bucha, like @lemonoink, who posted: “Why do we have to focus on 1,250 monks who showed up at a meeting without an appointment? I asked my children what they did at the meeting and what the Buddha said, and nobody could give me an answer.”
Caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt once again posted a photograph of himself in his “merit-making” attire – black sleeveless T-shirt, black shorts, bare feet and a bag of food in his hand.
@Sakda_Ch warned: “Pricey roses and Thai students losing their virginity is the news on February 13 every year. We can replay last year’s stories.”