Thousands of locals, tourists and everyone in between took place in religious activities and markets for Makha Bucha day yesterday, February 8th, 2020.
We at Pattaya Unplugged visited Wat Chai, the temple located near Walking Street in Pattaya and joined thousands who were shopping and participating in religious activities.
The highlight of the event is wian tian, which means circle candle, in which one walks three times around the temple with incense, candles and flowers which are later given as a tribute to Lord Buddha. Hundreds were seen lining up to pay homage to Buddha and make merit.
Here is a video of the event:
Of course, that’s not all. The entire temple was bustling with thousands of people exploring the markets that had extremely inexpensive merchandise available and listening to monks provide sermons. Many were also making merit and paying respect.
The day was marked, like all religious holidays in Thailand, with an alcohol sales ban which may catch some tourists by surprise but gave many a chance to see first hand the unique culture of Makha Bucha day.
But wait…what IS Makha Bucha Day? Well, we are glad you asked.
It is meant to commemorate a special day when 1,250 monks spontaneously gathered to hear Buddha preach only a few months after he began his teachings. Another name is the Fourfold Assembly because of four auspicious elements to this gathering of monks:
- All 1,250 were arhats (enlightened saints).
- All of them were ordained by Buddha himself.
- They assembled by themselves as if by chance. No call had been made for them to do so.
- It was the full moon day of the Makha month.
During this sermon, Buddha instructed the arhats to do only good, not commit any sins, and to purify their minds. The monks took the message of Buddha and helped to spread it, an important step in the development of Buddhism as a religion.
Enjoy the photos.