Thailand Buddhist public holidays are well respected in Pattaya even though there is a sizeable expat community in the seaside city. Pattaya Events like to highlight all the upcoming events in the great entertainment city.
On the 27th July 2018, Thailand celebrates Asahna Bucha Day, which is sometimes also called Asalha Puja. It is the Buddhist celebration of The Four Noble Truths which Buddha preached in his first sermon after his enlightenment.
If you happen to be on holiday in Pattaya during this festival, remember to show respect to Thai’s who are making their way to the temple to make merit.
The History of Asanha Bucha
Asanha Bucha is also sometimes referred to as Buddha’s Birthday and it takes place during the first full moon of the 8th lunar month. Buddha was born during a full moon so it has great significance in the Buddhist religion.
Asanha Bucha celebrates Buddha’s first sermon, which is often referred to as setting into motion the wheels of dharma. It is a most important sermon as it layed out the four noble truths.
There is suffering (dukkha), suffering is caused by craving (tanha), there is then a state beyond suffering and craving (nirvana), and finally the way to nirvana is via the eightfold path.
This sermon way given over two and a half thousand years ago, at a deer park in the city of Sarnath. Which is close to Varanasi near to the confluences of the mighty rivers Ganges and Gomati.
Asanha Bucha follows most of the traditional ways of celebrating a Buddhist religious day. It is a time for the Thai nation to participate in all manner of Buddhist activities. This starts with a visit to their local temple or Wat and to make merit.
Whilst they are at the temple they will give alms and food to the monks, give donations, listen to sermons from the monks and observe either the Five Precepts or Eight Precepts.
Some Thai’s will also take the chance to meditate, and others will join in on the practice of renunciation, which involves wearing white garments and abstain from eating meat or drinking alcohol. The purpose of renunciation is to purify the mind.
In the evening of Asanha Bucha there is a candlelight procession called the Wian Tian. The procession circles the temple three times in a clockwise, before re-entering the temple to light Joss sticks and give flowers as an offering.
If you happen to want to join in these celebrations with a Thai friend or partner then ask for their advice and follow it. If this all sounds too much for you, then at least have the courtesy to give respect, refrain from alcohol for the day and do not get drunk on the street.