Religious Holidays of Buddhism, Thailand

2019-02-20

Religious Holidays of Buddhism, Thailand

19th February 2019 is one of an important religious day of Buddhism in Thailand called 'Makha Bucha Day'. Even Thailand is one of the countries that open free for the differentiation of religion but 95% of the population is Buddhist. Buddhism haven't been written in the constitution as the national religion of Thailand but most of the Religious Days in Buddhism are address as the official holiday in the country each year.

So how many religious days in Buddhism in Thailand? As Buddhists, what do we do on these days? I will give you the answer right away.

#1 Makha Bucha Day

Photo Credit: http://www.taobaochinacargo.com/

 

Let's talk about the religious day that just passed by. Makha Bucha Day is held on a day in February or March every year depends on the Thai lunar calendar (the full moon of the 3rd lunar month). In 2019 was occur on 19 February.  Makha Bucha Day is to honor the Buddha and his teachings which he delivered on the full moon day of the third lunar month. There is an unbelievable event that 1,250 Sangha was gathered at Wat Veḷuvana in Northern India, without any schedule, to see the Lord Buddha. And the Lord Buddha gave important teaching to the followers on the principles of Buddhism, called “The Ovadhapatimokha”. Those principles are: To cease from all evil; to do what is good; to cleanse one’s mind.

What does Buddhist do this day?

The devout visit local temples to “make merit,” by giving donations and engaging in various rituals. While there, they also listen to sermons on Buddha’s teachings, meditate, recommit themselves to follow the precepts of Buddhism, and offer food to temple workers. Also attending to the candlelight procession, walk clockwise around the ordination hall which holds in every temple.

 

#2 Visakha Bucha Day

Photo credit: http://www.mnre.go.th/uttaradit/th/news/detail/17251/

 

Visakha Bucha Day is held on May every year (the full moon of the 6th lunar month). In 2019 Visakha Bucha Day will occur on 18 May. It is a day to commemorates the three major events in the life of Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death to Nibbana. Which occur on the same day but different year. Visakha Bucha Day is also recognized by the UNESCO in 1999 as “World Heritage Day”. Thailand, where is the permanent location of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, was chosen to host celebrating the event for the day.

What does Buddhist do this day?

It is a time when the devout visit local temples to “make merit,” by giving donations and engaging in various rituals. While there, they also listen to sermons on Buddha’s teachings, meditate, recommit themselves to follow the precepts of Buddhism, and offer food to temple workers. Some also set birds or fish free as a means of eliminating “negative karma”.

 

#3 Asarnha Bucha Day

Photo Credit: https://www.norkaew.net/

 

Asarnha Bucha Day is held in July every year (the first full moon of the eighth lunar month). It is a day to commemorates the Buddha's first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares, India and the founding of the Buddhist sangha (monkhood) about 2,500 years ago. In the sermon, which is known as 'Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion', the Buddha first spelled out the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path to first five disciples. One of them decided to enter the monkhood which makes Buddhism have Rattana Tri (Triple Gem), which is The Buddha, The Dhamma, and The Sangha on this day. The day following Asarnha Bucha is known as Khao Phansa or 'Buddhist Lent'.

What does Buddhist do this day?

Many Thai people return to their ancestral homes to donate offerings to temples and listen to sermons. In the evening they will often perform a ceremony called 'wian tian' or candlelight procession, where they walk clockwise around the main shrine of the temple carrying a candle, incense sticks, and lotus flowers. During the day, monks chant mantras and preach the first sermon of the Buddha.

 

#4 Buddhist Lent Day

Photo Credit: http://thaisay555.blogspot.com/2016/07/blog-post.html

 

Buddhist Lent Day is the day following Asarnha Bucha is known as Khao Phansa. It marks the beginning of the three-month ‘Phansa’ period (in rainy season), during which all monks should stay in their temples and not travel. Because the story was told that this is the period when locals grow the rice and the monk always step on them inadvertently. So, the Lord Buddha set up this rule to benefit the locals.

What does Buddhist do this day?

Photo Credit: https://www.citieshiddengemsthailand.com/news-events/

 

During the lent period, elaborate wax candles are kept burning. In the city of Ubon, there is a Candle Festival is held. Following a parade of candles, the winners of best candle design are announced. Also going to the temple making merit by offering food and stuff for the monk and novice and offer the rain cloth and lent candle for the monks. Buddhist Lent Day is also a public holiday in Thailand, though banks are not closed.

 

#5 The End of Buddhist Lent Day

Photo Credit: https://archive.clib.psu.ac.th/online-exhibition/pansa5.html

 

The end of Buddhist Lent day signifies the final night monks must remain in the same temple or dwelling they’ve stayed throughout the past three months. After this day, monks are permitted to travel and to stay at any other suitable location.

The end of Buddhist Lent day also called “Maha Pavarana Day” happens to be a Buddhist holy day where the practice of Pavarana, or making resolutions, is performed. This practice allows fellow monks the opportunity to approach one another and atone for an offense he may have committed during the Rains-retreat. The day is considered one of the holiest days for lay Buddhists as well.

What does Buddhist do this day?

Photo Credit: https://scoop.mthai.com/specialdays/3163.html

On this day, they traditionally attend the temple to offer donations, observe the moral disciplines, and listen to Dhamma lecture. In addition, an alms-giving ceremony called “Tak Bat Thevo” is conducted on this day.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author by Paint Platu

Find out UBON WIDE-RANGE EXPOSURE please contact us by email at booking@siamrisetravel.com