วันวิสาขบูชา (Visakha Bucha Day)

Visakha Bucha Day (วันวิสาขบูชา) or Wan Pra Yai วันพระใหญ่  marks the three important incidents in the life of Lord Buddha (พระพุทธเจ้า) on the same day – the full moon of the sixth lunar month. The three significant separate events are :

1. The Buddha’s Birth (ประสูติ)

2. The Enlightenment of Buddha (ตรัสรู้) – While sitting under the Bodhi tree, he found his answer and attained the enlightenment at the age of 35 years.

3. The Nibbana (ปรินิพพาน)- The Buddha passed away on Tuesday, the Vesak full moon day in the zodiac year of the small snake under the two Sal trees in the Sala Grove of the Mallas in Kusinara, the capital of the Malla state, (nowadays located in Kusinagara of Uttrarapradesa, India) at the age of eighty years (around 2547 years ago).Wisaka Bucha Day falls every year in the month of May. This year it is Friday, May 20.

Wisaka Bucha Day is regognized as most important memorial day in Buddhism for the Lord Buddha. Wisaka Bucha day is also recognized by the UNESCO in 1999 as “World Heritage Day”. Thailand where is the permanent location of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, was chosen to host celebrating event for the day.

Activities to be observed on Visakha Bucha Day

Teacher Pear offered food to monks in the morning of Visakha Bucha Day in Hua Hin.

Common activities during Visakha Bucha Day focus on merit making:

“ตักบาตร dtàk bàat” : Offering food to monks and novices in the morning,

“ฟังธรรม fang tam” : Some people visit the temples to listen to Dhamma preaching

“ทำบุญ tam bun” : Making merit by going to temples for special observances, making merit, giving some donations and join in the other Buddhist activities.

“ปล่อยนกปล่อยปลา  bpòi nók bpòi bplaa”Setting birds or fish free to get rid of bad karma.

Visakha bucha1

After sunset, candle-lit processions take place at major temples throughout the country. The devout Buddhists walk three times around the principle chapel clockwise (เดินเวียนเทียน), each clasping three incense sticks, a lighted candle and lotus buds. The air is filled with burning incense and smoke from the candles as the faithful complete this most sacred of Buddhist celebrations.

VisaKha Bucha Day3

 

Source: Public Relations Department of Royal Thai Government
Photo credit:variety.horoworld.com, dmc.tv

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4 Responses to วันวิสาขบูชา (Visakha Bucha Day)

  1. Dave Grix 07/09/2013 at 02:30 #

    Sawhatdee,

    Hi Mod,

    I lived in Bangkok in 1968-1970 and was the top student in my 1970 8th grade Thai Customs class at Bangsue. I was chosen to participate in a Thai Ceremony where I walked around a temple (I think) that had a wall around it. I remember dressing in a nice white shirt and black pants. I also remember that I walked around the temple three times with my hands folded as if in prayer with inscence and that I passed a Spirit House along the wall that had a very old lady crouched down in front of it. There were many people there, all whom were walking in the same direction with inscence. This ceremony it took place in the daylight. There was an overhead photo on the front page of one of the two major Bangkok papers and I was right in the center of the picture. (So it must have been a major ceremony.) Unfortunately, my mom lost the paper decades ago. 🙁 Do you have any idea what ceremony it may have been and on what day the ceremony is held? Kup Koon Mach Kah. 🙂 Dave

    • Mod 08/09/2013 at 23:59 #

      Sawatdee ka Dave, from what you described the activity is called “เวียนเทียน Wien Tien”. “walking around (“wien”) the Wat (temple) with a candle (“tien”)”. There are three times throughout the year a “Wien Tien” is performed;
      1. Makha Bucha Day
      2. Asalha Bucha Day http://learnthaiwithmod.com/?p=1724
      3. Wisakha Bucha Day

      This activity can be performed at any temple, so I am sorry I don’t know which temple you were at.

      • Thomas Gress 20/05/2016 at 14:45 #

        I did the Wien Tien with my ex wife at Doi Suthep Temple in Chiang Mai.

  2. Chris 12/06/2011 at 20:41 #

    Thank You. I went with my wife and children to the temple but did not understand why but I respect their religion and wanted to be with them. I asked my wife but all she could explain is that it is an important day for Budda

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