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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Asana Bucha and Khao Pansa days

Wan Asana Bucha and Wan Khao Pansa or Buddhist Lent day are very important Thai Buddhist holidays that fall next to each other, usually in July.

This year, 2013,, Wan Asana Bucha is on Monday, July 22nd and Wan Khao Pansa on Tuesday, July 23rd. This creates a long four-day weekend, where many businesses, government offices, schools and the like will be closed. There will be restrictions on Alcohol sales as well. There will be many activities around the temples, predominantly listening to sermons, making merit, feeding of monks, wiang tien, etc.

Asana Bucha Day

Wan Asana Bucha – วันอาสาฬหบูชา

Full moon of the eighth lunar month (usually in July). Monday, July 22nd in 2013.
The day before Wan Khao Pansa is known as Asanha Puja (วันอาสาฬหบูชา) Wan Asana Bucha in Thai (pronounced wan ah sa ha boo cha). This commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park at Benares (Varanasi) in India. In this sermon, known as Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion, the Buddha first spelled out the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. This day is also regarded as the founding day of the Buddhist sangha (monkhood).

Many Thai people will return to their ancestral homes to worship in their local temple and to bring offerings for the monks. In the evening they will often perform a wian tian, where they walk clockwise around the main shrine of the temple carrying a candle, three incense sticks and a lotus bed. During the day, monks chant mantras or repeat the first sermon of the Buddha.

Khao Pan Sa

Wan Khao Pansa – วันเข้าพรรษา

This is the first day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month (usually in July). This year, today, Tuesday, July 23rd in 2013.
Wan Khao Pansa (วันเข้าพรรษา) means the day of entering the rains retreat. This is a three-month annual retreat usually undertaken from July to October, during which monks must stay at the same temple, and refrain from wandering around the countryside. In India, it is known as Vassa. It begins on the day after Asana Bucha. The tradition dates from the time of the Buddha, when he forbade monks to travel during the rainy season for fear that they might unintentionally harm crops or insects in the places where they walked.

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