Asarnha Bucha & Buddhist Lent Day
Southeast Asia | 16-17 Jul 2019
Asarnha Bucha Day marks the day when the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon known as “Dhammachakkappawattanasutta” which he preached to five ascetics at Benares in India over 2,500 years ago. As a result, all of them attained enlightenment and was ordained by the Buddha as the first ever Buddhist monks.
Asarnha Bucha falls on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month of the calendar year, generally in July. Buddhists perform a variety of Buddhist activities at temples across Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand – mainly merit-making ceremonies such as offering food and alms to monks, listening to sermons and practising meditation in order to purity the mind.
This day also marks the beginning of Buddhist Lent or Khao Phansa, a three-month period when monks retreat into their monasteries to escape the monsoon rains and study Buddhist teachings. It is a time of making merit and candlelight processions, or wian thian in Thai, held at temples throughout the country.
Asarnha Bucha Day is Thailand’s public holiday and everyone should note it is illegal to buy and sell alcohol on this day.