Visakha Bucha Day (Full Moon, 6th Thai Lunar Month)

Visakha Bucha Day: It is an important day for Buddhists, marking the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha. It falls on the full moon of the sixth lunar month. On this day, the Thais make merit and take part in candlelit processions in the monasteries.

Buddhists celebrate Visakha Day as the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is a day of threefold significance for on this day, in the year 623 B.C., Lord Buddha was born a prince, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Sirimahamaya at Lumpini Grove, midway between Kapilavetthu and Devadaha, on the borders of Nepal.

Thirty five years later after a strenuous search for truth, the Prince attained the Noble Truths and become the enlightened one on the full-moon night of Visakha. After 45 years of teaching, the Lord Buddha at the age of 80, passed away at Kusinara on the full-moon night of the sixth lunar month. In view of the miraculous coincidence of the three greet events: the Birth, the Enlightenment and the Demise, Visatha Bucha Day is observed as the most sacred day by Buddhists throughout the world.

Visakha Bucha Day is observed annually on the 15th day of the lunar month-a date chosen by common agreement after World War II. Visakha is a Thai word (in Singhalese it is Wesak, in Sanskrit Vaisakha, and in Pali Vesakha), and is the name for the month which coincides with the 4th moon of the Chinese calendar.

Visakha Bucha Day is a public holiday in Thailand. Thousands of people celebrated the occasion with the traditional Vien-Thian ceremony, in which the public make three rounds of the main temple hall in a clock-wise direction with lighted candles, joss-sticks and flowers in a gesture of respect to the Lord Buddha at temples and homes with the five-coloured Buddhist flags and paper lanterns, and brightly at night with miniature oil lamps and fairy lights.


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