1,-250-Buddhist-monks-with-candles-sit-in-formation-on-the-steps-of-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple

Makha Bucha Day

Makha Bucha Day which is observed in Thailand on the full moon of the third lunar month, which is usually the end of February or early March. Since Makha Bucha is based on the lunar calendar (“Makha” in fact is the Pali word for the third month).

  • There were 1,250 Sangha followers all from different places, that came to see the Buddha that evening without prior arrangements, no emails, no twitter, no Facebook, no phone calls.
  • All of them were Enlightened, and all of them were ordained by Buddha.
  • Buddha gave them the principles of the Buddhism:
    • To cease from all evil.
    • To do what is good.
    • To cleanse one’s mind.

Observances on the day begin around sunset at temples all around Thailand. Thais will come to pray, make offerings, then, after sunset, there will be candlelight processions around the ordination hall (ubosot) or pagoda, if the temple has an especially important one.

1,-250-Buddhist-monks-with-candles-sit-in-formation-on-the-steps-of-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple
1,250-Buddhist-monks-with-candles-sit-in-formation-on-the-steps-of-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple

In Pali, Makha is the name of the third lunar month, and Bucha means “to venerate.”

On this day, Thai Buddhists gather at sunset in their local temples to participate in candlelight processions called Wian Tian (Wian means circle, Tian means candle).

The monks and the congregation, holding flowers in one hand and a lighted candle and incense in the other, walking 3 times around the Temple to honor each of the “3 Jewels” of their faith:  Buddha, Dharma , Sangha.

They will refocus and renew their commitment to keeping the 5 Precepts:

  1. Do not kill.
  2. Do not steal.
  3. Do not engage in improper sexual conduct.
  4. Do not make false statements.
  5. Do not drink alcohol.
Buddhist-monks-walk-between-two-rows-of-candles-at-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple-in-Pathum-Thani-province
Buddhist-monks-walk-between-two-rows-of-candles-at-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple-in-Pathum-Thani-province

On the evening of the full-moon day, each temple in Thailand holds a candlelight procession called a wian thian (wian meaning to circle around; thian meaning candle). Holding flowers, incense and a lighted candle, the monks and congregation members circumambulate clockwise three times around the phra ubosot (ordination hall), once for each of the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

Buddhists-carry-candles-while-circling-a-temple-during-Makha-Bucha-Day-in-Nonthaburi-province,-on-the-outskirts-of-Bangkok
Buddhists-carry-candles-while-circling-a-temple-during-Makha-Bucha-Day-in-Nonthaburi-province,-on-the-outskirts-of-Bangkok
Thousands-of-believers-join-Buddhist-monks-praying-at-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple-in-Pathum-Thani-province
Thousands-of-believers-join-Buddhist-monks-praying-at-the-Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-temple-in-Pathum-Thani-province

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Buddhists-holding-candles-encircle-a-large-Buddha-statue-during-Makha-Bucha-Day-at-a-temple-in-Nakhon-Pathom-province-on-the-outskirts-of-Bangkok
Buddhists-holding-candles-encircle-a-large-Buddha-statue-during-Makha-Bucha-Day-at-a-temple-in-Nakhon-Pathom-province-on-the-outskirts-of-Bangkok

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6 Replies to “Makha Bucha Day”

  1. Imagine if we ourselves and everyone in the world keep the 5 Precepts, there will be no killings no cheatings no fights..everyone treats each other the way they want to be treated.. It’s the world peace 🙂

  2. I was so lucky to travel most of this world of ours, but I will never forget that amazing experience, climbing Adam’s peak or Sri Pada “Sacred Footprint of Buddha” in Sri Lanka, 4 hours of climbing 7km up of stepped footpath around 5500 steps. The 5th tallest, but the most sacred mountain in Sri Lanka. For me, it was a physical challenge, another travel adventure with many tea stops. But on the way up, the scene around you is simply amazing. Simple people who barley can walk, one legged man hopping, a barefoot 75 year old woman, families with small kids, taking that spiritual uplifting journey in faithful strides, despite the pain, the physical suffering and the cold. Never Forget!

  3. I was fortunate to have witnessed the ceremony with my own eyes. It’s great to see half a hundred thousand people meditate together in absolute silence. The most beautiful moment was when the light was passed from one candle to the next to create the sea of candles. I was told that world peace could only prevail through inner peace. At that moment I realized that it couldn’t be more truthful. If one candle of mine could be passed along to the next person and the next to create the most beautiful sea of candles, then it’s not possible that we all could achieve world peace when we have inner peace within us. We could only change the world when we decided to change ourselves. Be the LIGHT, be the CHANGE.

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