Mahka Bucha Day/Sangha Day in Thailand

Tomorrow is another important holy day in Buddhism. The Buddhists will venerate Mahka Bucha (Thai), the Full moon of Tabaung (Engl.). 

There are several names for this day. Every country and language is using a different name for this day. In Pali, the old middle-indian language, which has its origin in the Vedic, this day is called Magha Puja.

Translated in Thai is is Mahka Bucha and means the third lunar month March. Bucha means to honor in Thai.

This holy day will be held on full-moon at the third lunar month, which is February, 25 in the lunar calendar of Thailand. 

From the historical knowledge, we know this Buddhist festival will be held to venerate Buddha and the "Four Assemblies".

This occured first in Buddhas early teaching life, nine month after his enlightning in the Veḷuvana Bamboo Grove, near Rājagaha in Northern India. 

He went after the first rain retreat (Vassa) to Rajagaha city. 1250 Arahats (enlighted saints) met him there without prior call to pay respect to the Buddha.

This Fourfold Assembly is named by the four principles (Ovadhapatimokha):

1. The unscheduled meet-up of 1250 Arahatas to pay respect to Buddha.
2. This 1250 Arahatas were all ordninated by Buddha himself.
3. All of them were enlighted saints.
4. It occured on a full-moon day.

This Mahka Bucha Day is also called "Sangha Day", because Sangha is one of the three jewels of the Buddhism and stands in simple words for monks and nuns which are the paragons and teaching the doctrine (Dharma, the second jewel) of Buddhism. Everybody should support everyone. Buddha is like a doctor and the Dharma is the medicine.

On this occasion are Buddhists going to the temple and doing merit-making  activities. There is only one spiritual aim at this day: Do only good things and purify your mind and do not commit any kinds of sins.

In Thailand monks will do a candle procession at the temples. They are walking three times around the temple, the chedi or around a Buddha statue.

Doi Suthep temple near Chiang Mai

They carry three things with them: One candle, three incense stick and a coronal (sometimes instead a fresh bloom). This symbolizes the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, the doctrine (Dharma) and the community of monks (Sangha).

But not only Thailand is commemorating Buddha on this day. Myanmar, Laos (Boun Makhabusa) and Cambodia (Meak Bochea) are celebrating too.

Shwedagon Pagoda at night

In Myanmar is the country's largest Pagoda festival at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangoon, the capital of Myanmar, during this time.

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