Saturday, 21 May 2016
Visakha Bucha Day 2016
Yesterday saw Visakha Bucha Day 2016 around Thailand and since 1996, if a holiday falls on a weekend, the following working day is observed as a compensatory non-working day, subject to Thailand's Cabinet declarations. In other words, this years Visakha Bucha Day 2016 was on a Friday so no compensation day but a long weekend.
This day commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition and is celebrated outside of Thailand as well, among others in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar and various other places around th eworld.
Visakha Bucha Day 2016
The decision to agree to celebrate Vesākha as the Buddha’s birthday was formalized at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950, although festivals at this time in the Buddhist world are a centuries-old tradition. The resolution that was adopted at the World Conference reads as follows:
That this Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, while recording its appreciation of the gracious act of His Majesty, the Maharaja of Nepal in making the full-moon day of Vesak a Public Holiday in Nepal, earnestly requests the Heads of Governments of all countries in which large or small number of Buddhists are to be found, to take steps to make the full-moon day in the month of May a Public Holiday in honour of the Buddha, who is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest benefactors of Humanity.
On Vesākha Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. As Buddhism spread from India it was assimilated into many foreign cultures, and consequently Vesākha is celebrated in many different ways all over the world. In India, Vaishakh Purnima day is also known as Buddha Jayanti day and has been traditionally accepted as Buddha's birth day.
In 1999, the United Nations resolved to internationally observe the day of Vesak at its headquarters and offices.
Buddhist celebrations like this typically are celebrated on the full moon day. This means that the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is not happening until today, like a couple of times per year.
There was another wien tien at our local Wat Plai Laem, or walk around the temple, as part of the celebration.
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