Monday is Visakha Bucha Day

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Banks and government offices closed

Monday, June 4, is one of the most venerated holidays on the Buddhist calendar: Visakha Bucha Day. This Buddhist Holy Day marks the beginning of the Buddhist Era 2,555 years ago, and celebrates the miracle of the Buddha being born, reaching enlightenment, passing away and achieving final release from the circle of rebirth, all on the same date.

Devout Buddhists participate in ceremonies at nearby temples, making merit in the morning by bringing alms to monks and listening to sermons. Later this evening devotees will continue assembling at temples to conduct the “Wien Thien” ceremony, walking around sacred temple grounds three times holding candles, joss sticks and flowers honoring the Buddha, the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings) and the Sangha (the Buddhist Monastic Order).

Buddhist perform the Wien Thien ceremony at Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai on last year’s Visakha Bucha Day. Buddhist perform the Wien Thien ceremony at Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai on last year’s Visakha Bucha Day.

For this holiday, killing any kind of animal and drinking alcohol or intoxicating substances is forbidden for 3 days.

Wats are to be adorned with lanterns, flowers and joss sticks as symbols of worship, and fireworks will be lit for three days to celebrate.

Banks and government offices are closed for this holiday, although most currency exchange booths will remain open.

It is illegal to buy, sell or distribute alcohol on this day, so all bars and entertainment venues will be closed.

An unnamed police spokesman told Pattaya Mail that police will strictly enforce this law.