Kathmandu, Feb 4 (IANS) Nepal has kicked off the third edition of the ‘World Peace Pooja’ ceremony to pray for world peace and welfare of the entire human race.
The three-day ceremony, organized by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), a non-governmental organization working to promote mountain tourism, started on Monday in the tourist city Pokhara, some 200 km away from the capital Kathmandu, reports Xinhua news agency.
As part of the ceremony, a peace torch was handed over to the organizing team by a high-ranking Buddhist monk in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, on Monday morning.
The torch has been brought and kept in a monastery in Pokhara, which will be shifted to the main worshipping venue at the International Mountain Museum on Tuesday.
“The world is suffering from different problems currently, thus, we are hosting this special worshipping ceremony to pray for the world peace. We will also pray for the eternal peace of those who have died in course of mountaineering and trekking in Nepal,” Santa Bir Lama, President of NMA, told Xinhua news agency.
According to Lama, the worshipping as per the Buddhist rituals had begun since a month ago within different monasteries across the country, while the formal ceremony started from Monday and will last till Wednesday.
As part of the ceremony, the monks will study the hymns and religious scriptures.
He said around 25,000 people were taking part in the ceremony this year.
“The Peace Pooja has also been organized considering the ongoing Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign. If there was no virus outbreak, we would have invited delegates from different countries to promote tourism,” Lama added.
The final day has been regarded as the most important day of the event, when the visitors will receive special blessings called “Wang” from the senior Buddhist leaders.
Former Prime Minister and Nepal Communist Party’s co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, provincial ministers along with other high-level leaders will take part in the concluding ceremony, according to NMA.
The last World Peace Pooja was organized by NMA in 2016 following the devastating earthquake in 2015 that killed nearly 9,000 people.