December 10, 2015
Makha Bucha Day When the people of the Kingdom of Thailand celebrate the compassionate teachings of Buddhism
When: 23rd March 2016 (11th Feb 2017)
Where: Across Thailand
Makha Bucha (also known as Magha Puj or the Full Moon of Tabodwe) is a national, annual Public Holiday in Thailand. The date is dependent on the Thai Lunar calendar and is celebrated across the Kingdom on the full moon of the third lunar month. For those that can’t do without their booze the bad news is; In Thailand the sale of alcohol is banned on religious holidays.
Despite the fact that Buddha began his teachings over 2,500 years ago, Makha Bucha only became a Public Holiday in 1957.
The third lunar month is known in the Thai language as Makha (Pali: Māgha); Bucha is also a Thai word (Pali: Pūjā), meaning “to venerate” or “to honor”. As such, Makha Bucha Day is for the veneration of Buddha and his teachings on the full moon day of the third lunar month.
How is Maka Bucha Day celebrated in Thailand?
In the morning Thai people wake up early to give alms to monks at the temples or to the wandering monks who pass by their homes.
In the evening each temple holds a candlelight procession called a wian thian (wian meaning to circle around; thian meaning candle). The monks and congregation members hold flowers, incense and a lighted candle, while walking clockwise three times around the phra ubosot (ordination hall), once for each of the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Lay persons and believers make merit by also:
Going to temples for special observances and joining other Buddhist activities. (Known as tham bun)
Keeping the Five Precepts. (The Practice of Renunciation), Observe the Eight Precepts, (the Practice of Meditation and Mental Discipline), staying in the temple, and wearing white robes, for a number of days. (Known as rap sin)
Makha Bucha Day marks the four auspicious occasions which occurred at the Veḷuvana bamboo grove, near Rājagaha in northern India ten months after the enlightenment of the Buddha. It was on this day, four wonderful events occurred:
- 1,250 disciples miraculously came to see the Buddhathat evening without being summoned.
- All of them were Arhantas, Enlightened Ones, and each had been ordained by the Buddha himself.
- The Buddha gave each disciple the principles of Buddhism, called “The ovadapatimokha“. To cease from all evil; to do what is good; to cleanse one’s mind. In Thailand, this teaching has been dubbed the “heart of Buddhism”.
- It was the day of the full-moon.
Across South East Asia
The time is also a public holiday in Laos and Cambodia and Myanmar, the exact date is dependent on each countries own Lunar calendar and is known by different names.
This site may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, is made available in an effort to advance understanding of Thailand, or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes ‘fair use’, of any such copyrighted material as provided for, in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site, for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from asia-backpackers.com, please contact us.