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Makha Bucha

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Makha Bucha is one of the most important religious dates in Buddhist calendar. Makha refers to the third lunar month in Thai language and Bucha means "to venerate" or "to honor". As such, Makha Bucha is celebrated to honor Buddha and his teachings on the full moon night of the third lunar month.

Makha Bucha marks the day nine month after Buddha’s enlightenment when 1,250 monks gathered to be ordained by Buddha. On that occasion, Buddha gave an important sermon, in which he laid down three fundamental teachings of Buddhism. These are: not to do evil, to do good and to purify one’s mind.

Makha Bucha is observed in Thailand as a public holiday, as well as Cambodia and Laos. On that day, most Thai people will go to temple and show their respect to Buddha. In daytime, people visit temples, make merit, make alms offerings and listen to sermon. After sunset, the candlelight processions will take place with monks and ordinary people circling clockwise three times around main hall. Each devotee will carry a candle, a flower and lighted incense stick. The three circles represents the Three Jewels of Buddhism, namely the Buddha, the Dhamma (or teaching) and the Sangha (or monkhood).

Because Makha Bucha is celebrated based on lunar calendar, it varies from year to year.

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