Pattaya celebrates Makha Bucha Day

Friday, 01 March 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 9 By  Pattaya Mail

Pattaya Buddhists rose with the sun to pray and make merit as the area celebrated Makha Bucha Day.

Temples throughout the city saw worshippers present offerings of meat, dried foods and desserts to monks, light candles and incense, lay flowers on statues of Lord Buddha and listen to sermons and meditate on one of the holiest Buddhist holidays of the year.

At Chaimongkol Temple, Abbot Pisan Jariyapiphat, monks and novices performed missions while some believers, dressed in white, meditated in the pavilion while others offered alms. Monks sprinkled holy water for prosperity.

Lord Buddha’s smiling statue at Wat Khao Phra Yai on Pratamnak Hill is one of many religious spots throughout Pattaya where thousands of worshippers solemnly joined people all over the Kingdom of Thailand to celebrate Makha Bucha Day, one of the holiest days on the Buddhist calendar. Lord Buddha’s smiling statue at Wat Khao Phra Yai on Pratamnak Hill is one of many religious spots throughout Pattaya where thousands of worshippers solemnly joined people all over the Kingdom of Thailand to celebrate Makha Bucha Day, one of the holiest days on the Buddhist calendar.

Foreigners participated in ceremonies at Khao Phrabat and Khao Phra Yai temples, buying “sangkhathan,” or essential items for monks and paying their respects to Lord Buddha. At Phrabat Temple, worshippers made merit to gods representing their birthday months and paraded around temple grounds in the “Wien Thien” ceremony.

With Pattaya’s bars closed and the alcohol bottles capped for the day, the atmosphere in the city was quiet and solemn.

Worshippers pray to a statue of Lord Buddha before performing the Wien Thien ceremony on Makha Bucha Day at Wat Haadmai Krathingthong.Worshippers pray to a statue of Lord Buddha before performing the Wien Thien ceremony on Makha Bucha Day at Wat Haadmai Krathingthong.

In Sattahip, the Royal Thai Navy’s Air and Coastal Defense Command held its own Makha Bucha Day ceremony at the Physical Education building.

Abbot Sangkharak Pongsiri of the Khao Ploy Dhamma Retreat led chanting with 300 military and government personnel meditating and praying.

Makha Bucha Day, considered Buddhist “All Saints Day,” commemorates the occasion when 1,250 disciples traveled to meet with Lord Buddha with no prearranged agreement at Weluwan Mahawiharn Temple in the area of Rachakhryha, India.

Worshippers in South Pattaya attend the Wien Thien ceremony with smiles on Makha Bucha Day at Wat Chaimongkol Phra Aaramluang.Worshippers in South Pattaya attend the Wien Thien ceremony with smiles on Makha Bucha Day at Wat Chaimongkol Phra Aaramluang.

The day gained official recognition in Thailand during the reign of King Rama IV and became a nationally observed day with all government institutions closing down and observing the rituals associated with Buddhist commandments.

Disseminating the Buddha’s teachings and the journey to meet with the Buddha on the 15th night of the third lunar month are part of the historical events that include the sermons and truths spoken by the Buddha.

In the evening, Buddhists climb the stairs at Wat Khao Phra Yai on Pratamnak Hill.In the evening, Buddhists climb the stairs at Wat Khao Phra Yai on Pratamnak Hill.

Having good intentions, not harming others, avoiding evil actions and making the heart and mind pure in thought were among the truths spoken by the Buddha. Additionally, other truths spoken by the Buddha cautioned individual restraint in all that attracts one’s attention, to include desiring possessions belonging to others, and exploiting others for personal gain.

Before departing, the Buddha also referred to the people’s interest in making merit, gaining self-esteem and a comfortable reassurance that moral integrity exists. More importantly, having faith in the “Triple Gem” (Phraratanatrai) was illustrated by emphasizing the importance of avoiding drunken, irresponsible and immoral behavior, and maintaining focus on supporting loved ones while being content in one’s existence with friends and without selfish greed.

At Phrabat Temple, worshippers make merit to gods representing their birthday months.At Phrabat Temple, worshippers make merit to gods representing their birthday months.

In Sattahip, the Royal Thai Navy’s Air and Coastal Defense Command held its own Makha Bucha Day ceremony at the Physical Education building.In Sattahip, the Royal Thai Navy’s Air and Coastal Defense Command held its own Makha Bucha Day ceremony at the Physical Education building.

More worshippers turned out this year than last year to perform the Wien Thien ceremony at Wat Nong Ya in Nong Yai.More worshippers turned out this year than last year to perform the Wien Thien ceremony at Wat Nong Ya in Nong Yai.

By law, bars are closed on important religious holidays, including these on Jomtien Soi 5.By law, bars are closed on important religious holidays, including these on Jomtien Soi 5.

Last modified on Friday, 01 March 2013 09:42
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