Thailand celebrates Makha Bucha with display of Buddhist relics from India

- through Henry Oudin

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Buddhist relics. At

Thailand will celebrate Makha Bucha, also known as Sangha Day, on February 24, an important Buddhist holiday that spans many South and Southeast Asian countries and cultures, including Cambodia, in Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The festival, which celebrates the creation of the Buddhist community, takes place on the full moon day of the third lunar month, either around the last week of February or early March.

Makha Bucha is a national holiday in Thailand during which the sale of alcohol is prohibited. The Prime Minister's Office implemented this ban in 2015. It also applies to four other Buddhist holidays: Khao Phansa (or Vassa, sometimes called Buddhist Lent), Wan Ok Phansa (the end of Vassa), Asarnha Bucha ( also known as Dharma). Day, celebrating the Buddha's first teaching) and Visakha Bucha (Or Vesak, marking the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha). Violators of the alcohol ban face a maximum sentence of six months in prison, a fine of 10 baht (US$), or both.


To commemorate Makha Bucha this year, Thailand's Ministry of Culture enshrined sacred Buddhist relics, including those of two of the Buddha's disciples, Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, at a shrine in Sanam Luang in Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district. The relics, on loan from India, were brought to Thailand on February 22, marking a significant development in diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Sanam Luang Shrine will be accessible to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 20 p.m. until March 3.

After March 3, the relics will be kept at Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai province from March 5 to 8, then at Wat Maha Wanaram in Ubon Ratchathani province from March 10 to 13 and at Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol in the Krabi province from March 15. -March 18.

Le Herald of the Deccan An Indian newspaper reported that the relics would return to India on March 19. According to Indian Culture Secretary Govind Mohan: “The exhibition represents an important diplomatic development for us, and it will go a long way in strengthening ties between India and Thailand. » (Herald of the Deccan)


Makha Bucha celebrates an important event in the life of the Buddha which took place at Veluvana Bamboo Grove, near Rajagaha (now Rajgir) in the Indian state of Bihar. This happened on an auspicious day, about 10 months after the Buddha's enlightenment, when four important events took place:

(1) ⁠ 1 men from various places gathered before the Buddha without prior arrangement.

(2)⁠ ⁠The Buddha ordained them as monks with the words: “Ehi bhikkhu!» (“Come, monk!”).

(3) ⁠All these men realized arhat.

(4)⁠ ⁠The Buddha imparted special teachings known as ovada patimokkha (the Patimokkha Exhortation), which laid down the fundamental principles of his teaching.

Although its origins date back to the 1851th century BCE, Makha Bucha became a holy day in Thailand in the 1868th century, due to cultural reforms promulgated by King Rama IV (r. XNUMX-XNUMX). Initially attended only by monks and royalty, millions of Thai Buddhists today take part in the celebrations.

On this auspicious day, Buddhists wake up early to offer alms to monks, observe precepts and practice meditation. In the evening, monks give Dhamma talks and perform rituals such as the candle ceremony, walking clockwise three times around the temple while holding a lit candle, flowers and incense.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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