Asahna Bucha Day
Thailand Buddhists celebrate Asahna Bucha day commemorating the Buddha’s first sermon after his enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago. This day is celebrated on the first full moon of the eighth lunar month ; this day is also referred to as Dharma Day with “dharma” meaning the teachings of the Buddha.
In this specific sermon, the Buddha spelt out the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, both major aspects of the Buddhist religion.
Asahna Bucha Day is an observed National Holiday where Buddhists donate offerings to temples and listen to sermons. It is also a popular day for young Thai men to enter the monkhood; something considered an ideal way for a man to make merit for himself and his family.
The day after Asahna Bucha is another important day (and also a National Holiday) marking the beginning of Buddhist Lent (Wan Khao Phansa); a three-month period where monks should stay in their temples and not travel. The lent period is also known as ‘Rains Retreat’ and originates from ancient times when monks stayed in temples during the rainy season to avoid killing the growing seeds; monks can go out during the day but must sleep in the same temple every night for the lent period