Wan Khao Pansa marks the beginning of the Buddhist ‘lent’ period. This is a time when monks are supposed to co back to their temples while new life springs forth. It is not an official public holiday but schools and Universities might still be closed.
The Buddhist lent is an annual three months disciplinary practice for Buddhist monks. According to Buddha monks should stop traveling during the three months of the lent (rainy season) and avoid the dangers that come with traveling during that time. The lent period lasts from the eighths lunar month to the eleventh lunar month. This time is considered to be sacred and is thought to be for spiritual practice and to be a time to devote oneself more towards mindfulness and compassion.
Wan Khao Phansa is the first day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month. And follows Asanha Bucha Day. The whole period of ‘retreat’ is called Phansa. Khao Phansa then means to remain in one place during the rainy season.
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