Once again it’s the most holy time of the year. JTTJ wishes everyone good fortune, health and blessings of Lord Buddha. Makha Bucha as we all know is the biggest festival of Thailand.
There is an interesting story behind this festival. During the entire life time of Lord Buddha two massive gathering of Buddhist monks spontaneously took place to honor him over a gap of 45 years. Coincidently both the days were the full moon day of the third lunar month called ‘Makha’. The first gathering of 1,250 monks took place after just 7 months of Buddha’s teachings, where as the second gathering took place shortly before his death. Hence, since then every year the full moon day of Makha is celebrated as ‘Makha Bucha’. Bucha simply means ‘to honor’. This year the day happens to be on 11th march as per the Georgian calendar.
On this day the religious people and monks gather at their local temples and conduct a candlelight procession called ‘Wian’ at sundown. The religious ceremonies are conducted to respect to the hierarchy of monks and the three jewels of Buddhism – the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Where in Buddha is Lord Buddha himself, Dharma is his teachings and Sangha is the religious institutions of Buddhism. . People attend sermons and the teachings of Buddha narrated by monks and create goodwill by ‘tum boon’- the act of participating in performing good deeds.
The King and Head of State of Thailand also hold special ceremonies for Makha Bucha. The royal palace invites thirty monks to have breakfast, after which prayers and mantras of the Buddha’s teachings are chanted. As 1250 monks had visited Lord Buddha in the history equal numbers of candels are lit by the King shortly after the prayers.
There is a very holy and peaceful environment thought out the nation during this day and everyone is in full preparation to refrain from indulging into wrong deeds. Alcohol shops, bars, pub, etc are closed during this day. It is more or less like a national holiday.
One of the most valuable teachings of Lord Buddha was non-violence and love for all creatures of nature. Hence on this day as you pay homage to the Lord, do not forget to pay homage to his teachings. At Khao Kheow Open Zoo we welcome all the people who practice and preach his teachings of ‘love towards animals and nature’.