home food store cookware fruit carving blog recipes

Makha Bucha Day Words of Wisdom

Makha Bucha Day is one of the most important holidays in Thai Buddhism, celebrating two significant events in the life of the Buddha. This beautiful holiday is celebrated on the night of the full moon of the third lunar month (usually the full moon of February). We were in Chiang Mai at the Wat Chedi Luang to participate in the event.

Making Merit

Tossing Coins for Making Merit at the Wat

This holiday celebrates the Buddha’s famous sermon in which he expounded the meaning of his message to 1250 of his monks which was to give up evil, cultivate good and cleanse the mind. Forty-five years later, on the same day, foreseeing that in three months he would reach Nirvana, thereby escaping rebirth, he told his followers that individuals and organizations should:

  • enjoy their work or responsibilities,
  • be diligent in their work,
  • concentrate on the job while working, and
  • check all unfinished work thoroughly.

That’s good advice no matter what your religion maybe. Everyone is invited to join in at a Thai temple (wat) on Makha Bucha Day in walking with the lay people and monks, holding lighted candles, incense and flowers and circling the Bhot to celebrate this holy Buddhist day in Thailand. Thai Buddhists gather at the temple at sunset to wian tian, i.e. circumambulate the Bhot, which is the main religious structure in the temple complex where monks are ordained. This is a way of showing respect to what is called the “triple gems” of Buddhism: the Buddha, his teachings and doctrines (the Dhamma) and the monkhood (the Sangha) which he founded.

Thai Street Vendor

A Thai street vendor sells everything needed to make merit just outside the temple.

It is a beautiful night with the full moon and there are many vendors selling both the necessary items for offering (candles, incense and lotus flowers), a myriad of street food and an assortment of other items from clothes to flashing electronic toys for children. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Thailand during this time of year, we recommend you visit the local Buddhist temple to observe and partake if you wish.

Making Merit at the Temple

Making Merit at the Temple