Friday, 3 August 2012 - Buddhist Lent Day (Wan Khao Phansa)
วันเข้าพรรษา(Khao Phansa Day) marks the beginning of the Buddhist lent, as annual three months disciplinary practice for Buddhist monks. Buddha had specified that during the three months of the raining season, monks should stop traveling and avoid the dangers of traveling during the rainy season by staying fixed in one temple. The Buddhist lent is observed by monks from the eighth lunar month to the eleventh lunar month. This is considered a sacred period of time for spiritual practice, a time to devote oneself more earnestly to the cultivation of mindfulness and compassion.
Khao Phansa Day is on the first day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month, and marks the beginning of the three-month Buddhist ‘lent’ period. The tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annual three-month rains retreat known in Thai as “Phansa”. Khao Phansa means to remain in one place during the rainy season. Phansa represents a time of renewed spiritual vigor and Khao Phansa festival is a major Buddhism merit-making festival.
This year วันอาสาฬหบูชา(Asalha Bucha Day) is on 2nd August 2012 and วันเข้าพรรษา(Khao Phansa Day) is on 3rd August 2012.
วันอาสาฬหบูชา/wan aa-sǎan-hà-buu-chaa/ – Asalha Bucha Day
วันอาสาฬหบูชา(Asalha Bucha Day) is considered to be one of the most significant Buddhist holy days. It falls on the full moon day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar year, generally in July. It is the day that Buddha delivered his first sermon known as “Dhammachakkappavattanasutta” which he preached to five ascetics. One ascetic named “Kotanya”, understood the insight knowledge of life that Buddha had taught and requested that Buddha ordain him as a monk. This event marked the first time that the Triple Gems were completed; there are Buddha himself, Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and the Sangha (the brotherhood of monks). This was the day that Buddhism was established in the world.