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Visakha Bucha Day

Visakha Bucha Day 2018 falls on Tuesday, May 29th. It is one of the most important buddhist holidays and therefore celebrated extensively. Find some more general information below:

VISAKHA BUCHA (Vesak) means the worship of Buddha on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month. This usually happens during May. In the case of a year with an extra eighth lunar month – Adhikamasa (there are 13 full moons in that year) – the Visakha Bucha Day falls on the full moon day of the seventh lunar month.

BIRTH – ENLIGHTENMENT – PASSING AWAY
Visakha Bucha Day is one of the most important days in Buddhism because of three important incidents in the life of Buddha, i.e. birth, enlightenment and passing away. All of these miraculously fall on the same month and date, the Vesak full moon day. Hence each year Buddhists throughout the world gather together to perform the worship to recollect wisdom, purity and compassion of Buddha.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Prince Siddhatha (the Buddha’s personal name) was the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Sirimahamaya.
He discontened and took on the life of a wandering ascetic a the bank of the Anoma River. He was then 29.
He studied the mystic practices of the foremost Brahmin ascetics and realized that such practices were not the way to enlightenment. He went on his own way applying the reflective thought of conscious meditation to a rational simple life of moderation. At the age of 35, he attained Enlightenment – forty five years before the Buddhist Era.

The Dhamma discovered by the Buddha was Ariyasacca or the Four Noble Truths, namely:

The Noble Truth of Suffering
The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering
The Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering
The Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Extinction of Suffering

After having attained Enlightenment, the Buddha wandered from place to place teaching his discoveries to people who are accessible to instruction, helping large numbers of them achieve various levels of spiritual attainment.

The Buddha passed away at the age of eighty.

The performance of the rituals on Visakha Bucha day had been continuously observed in Jambudavipa or India, the motherland of Buddhism, for a long time before Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka and Thailand.

In Thailand, Visakha Bucha observance began during the Sukhuthai period (around 700 years ago), because of the close religious relations between Thailand and Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan monks came to propagate Buddhism in Thailand and were highly respected. Thai monks also went to study in Sri Lanka. It’s believed that those monks introduced this ceremony to the King and people at that time.

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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