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Makha Bucha Day in Thailand
Makha Bucha Day is observed by Thai, Lao, and Cambodian Buddhists
2012 date 7 March (Thailand)
Māgha Pūjā or Makha Bucha is an important Buddhist festival celebrated in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.
Makha Bucha Day is for the veneration of Buddha and his teachings on the full moon day of the third lunar month.
The spiritual aims of the day are: not to commit any kind of sins; do only good; purify one’s mind.
Mackha Bucha is a public holiday in Thailand and is an occasion when Buddhists tend to go to the temple to perform merit-making activities.
It was nine full months after Buddha got Enlightenment, on the full-moon day of 6th lunar month, 45 year before the Buddhist era.
Day of Makha Bucha
It commemorates two separate events that occurred on the same date 45 years apart, during the Buddha’s lifetime 2,500 years ago.
The first event was the coming together of 1,250 monks from all locations and directions, to meet and be ordained by the Buddha.
This event occurred seven months after the Buddha began his teaching.
The second event, which occurred 45 years later, was the Buddha delivering his teachings shortly before his death.
Both of these events occurred on the day of the full moon of the third lunar month, a month known in the Buddhist Pali language as ‘Makha’.
The ‘Bucha’, also a Pali word, means to venerate or to honor.
Makha Bucha Day is for the veneration of Buddha and his teachings on the full moon day of the 3rd lunar month.
At this time in the evolution of Buddhism and Buddhist principles in Thailand, it is important to understand how the majority of Thai people view Buddha and the Buddhist philosophy.
Activities to be observed on Makha Bucha Day
‘TUM BOON’: Making merit by going to temples for special observances, making merit, listening to Dhamma preaching, giving some donations and join in the other Buddhist activities.
‘RUB SIL’: Keeping the Five Precepts, including abstinence from alcoholic drinks and all kinds of immoral acts.
‘TUK BARD’: Offering food to the monks and novices (in the alm bowl).
PRACTICE OF RENUCIATION’: Observe the Eight Precepts, practice of meditation and mental discipline, stay in the temple, wearing white robes, for a number of days.
‘VIEN TIEN’: Attending the Candle Light Procession around the Uposatha Hall, in the evening of the Vesak full moon day.