Makha Bucha (Magha Puja) day in Thailand, The third lunar month.

Makha Bucha, sometimes spelled Magha Puja, is one of the most important dates in the Buddhist calendar, 1,250 monks gathered to hear Buddha preach.
Makha Bucha day
( | Press Release | 2017-02-07 08:51:06 )
Makha Bucha, sometimes spelled Magha Puja, is one of the most important dates in the Buddhist calendar. On this day, the full moon of the third lunar month (called Tabodwe); seven months after Buddha began his teachings, 1,250 monks gathered to hear Buddha preach, at which he established the basic tenants of the monastic order - the Sangha. Buddha ordained these monks and spread the principles of Buddhism. This marked a key event in the development of the religion.

Makha Bucha day marks the four auspicious occasions occurring at the Veḷuvana bamboo grove, four marvellous events occurred:
1. 1,250 disciples came to see the Buddha that evening without being summoned.
2. All of them were Arahants, Enlightened Ones, and
3. All were ordained by the Buddha himself: Ehibhikkhus.
4. It was the full-moon day.

45 years later, on the same full moon in the third lunar month, Buddha again delivered his teachings shortly before his death. This third lunar month on which both events occurred is known in Buddhist Pali language as 'Makha'. 'Bucha', means to honour.

In the morning many Thai people wake up early to give alms to monks. In the evening, temples are full of people listening to sermons. They often perform a ritual known as the the candle ceremony where they walk clockwise three times around the temple. holding flowers, incense and a lighted candle.

Observances on the day begin around sunset at temples all around Thailand. Thais will come to pray, make offerings, then, after sunset, there will be candlelight processions around the ordination hall (ubosot) or pagoda, if the temple has an especially important one. Some of the best places to observe Makha Bucha in Bangkok are the Golden Mount and Wat Benjamabopit (the "Marble Temple"). At the golden mount, monks from the temple (Wat Saket) lead a procession up the mount.

Since Makha Bucha is based on the lunar calendar ("Makha" in fact is the Pali word for the third month), the date varies from year to year. The estimated date for the next Makha Bucha day is 11 February 2017.

In Thailand, the sale of alcohol is banned on religious holidays. This means bars and clubs are closed for the entire holiday. The day is a public holiday in Thailand, as well as Laos and Cambodia.

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