Visakha Bucha Day

May 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Festivals, News

BANGKOK, 29 May 2015: Visakha Bucha Day, 1 June, is an important religious festival in the Buddhist calendar, falling usually in May on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month.

When a year has an extra eighth lunar month –Adhikamasa (13 full moons in the year) – Visakha Bucha Day falls on the full moon day of the seventh lunar month (June).

This year the religious holiday will be celebrated Monday, 1 June. It is public holiday in many ASEAN countries; Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore.

Visakha Bucha Day is an important milestone in Buddhism calendar, because it marks the Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.

inside no 4They all fell miraculously on the same day and month, according to Buddhist traditions. Buddhists, worldwide, gather together to worship and listen to sermons, or make merit at temples.

Rituals on Visakha Bucha Day were first observed in Jambudavipa, or India, the motherland of Buddhism, long before Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka and Thailand.

In Thailand, Visakha Bucha was first observed during the Sukhuthai period (around 700 years ago), established through close religious links between Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan monks travelled to Thailand to propagate Buddhism and were highly respected. Thai monks also went to study in Sri Lanka. It is understood that, those monks introduced this special day to Thailand on their return.

Devout Buddhists will rise early to make merit at temples. In some temples, Buddhists will perform “Wien Tien” in the evenings, circling the bodh, or main sermon or prayer hall, carrying candles, incense and lotus flowers.

Schools and government offices will also fly yellow Buddhist flags on the day.

Because it is a holy day, shops, bars and restaurants are barred from selling alcohol for 24 hours from midnight on Sunday all through to Monday to just after midnight.

It is also a national holiday. TTR Weekly will resume its business day cover of travel news Tuesday 2 June.

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