What is Makha Bucha & How is it Celebrated in Pattaya
Makha Bucha, also known as Magha Puja, marks a crucial three days for Buddhists and is celebrated in many countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. With Thailand being a predominantly Buddist country, Makha Bucha is significant to locals.
This year, Makha Bucha day falls on 16 February, and is also a designated public holiday but what exactly is it? Here, we explain the significance of Makha Bucha and how it is observed in Pattaya.
The Significance of Makha Bucha
Makha Bucha marks the first major Buddhist festival of the year, which will take place on a full moon day on the third lunar month. Makha Bucha is celebrated to mark a significant gathering where Lord Buddha led his teaching upon 1,250 of his first disciples - his disciples were then ordained as monks to spread the principles of Buddhism.
Makha Bucha, which is seven months after the gathering, was established as the “National Gratitude Day” as it practices Lord Buddha’s love to people where Buddists are encouraged to show gratitude by doing good deeds, and avoiding immoral acts.
How is Makha Bucha Celebrated in Pattaya
Generally, on Makha Bucha day, Buddhists will visit the temple to make offerings as the day marks a day of gratitude through good deeds to purify the way of life.
In Thailand, the visit to temples is very important during Makha Bucha. On the evening of Makha Bucha day, temples in Thailand will host a candlelight procession and a circumambulation known as a wian thian - wian meaning circle around, and thian represents a candle. Those visiting will also join in temple activities to make merit.
Additionally, the sale of alcohol is banned on this day to focus on doing good, rather than doing activities that may be considered “immoral”.
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