Asahna Bucha Day

Young monks at Asahna Bucha

Asahna Bucha Day

Asahna Bucha, also known as Asalha Puja or Dhamma Day is a national holiday in Thailand, replacing Buddhist Lent as a gazetted holiday since 2007.

Asahna Bucha commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares, India and the founding of the Buddhist sangha (monkhood) about 2,500 years ago.

In the sermon, which is known as Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion, the Buddha first spelled out the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Asahna Bucha is celebrated on the first full moon of the eighth lunar month. The day marks the beginning of Vassa, the Buddhist lent period also known as the Rains Retreat.

Asahna Bucha Day in Thailand

Ceremonies to mark Asahna Bucha Day are held in Buddhist temples across Thailand. On this occasion many Thai people will return to their family homes to make offerings at their local temples and listen to sermons. A ceremony is often performed in the evenings called wian tian which involves walking clockwise around the main shrine of the temple carrying a candle, incense sticks and lotus flowers.

Monks chant mantras and preach the first sermon of the Buddha during the day.

Asanha Bucha Day is also a popular day for young Thai men to enter the monkhood.

In Thailand, Asahna Bucha is one of five important Buddhist holidays where shops, bars and restaurants are barred from selling alcohol for 24 hours from midnight until midnight.

All Government offices and banks will be closed.

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