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Mon 24 Apr 2017
Wisakha Puja Day
Written by Student Weekly   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 14:50
Wisakha Puja Day is a very important day in the Buddhist tradition, for it was on this day that Prince Siddhattha Gotama was born , 35 years later became the Buddha, and in another 45 years, passed away into total Nibbana (Parinibbana). In each case, these events took place on the full-moon day in the Wisakha month (usually in May).Wisakha Puja Day is a great Buddhist holiday. It falls on the 15th day of the waxing moon in the 6th lunar month, i.e. full moon day.

In Thailand, Wisakha Puja is celebrated throughout the country. On Wisakha Puja Day people put up religious flags outside their houses. They take part in ceremonies at temples and they make merit. They bring flowers, candles, and incense to pay respect to the Triple Gem, i.e. Buddha (the Great Teacher), the Dhamma (the Truth) and the Sangha (the community of followers). In the evening, people take part in candle-lit processions and walk around the main chapel of the temple three times. In the procession, each person carries flowers, three incense sticks and a lighted candle. There is another way of making merit. It is Bhavana or development of the mind. In English Bhavana is usually translated as meditation. Mental development means working from a base of morality (Sila), together with the development of concentration (Samadhi) and mindfulness (Sati). It was this kind of practice that enabled him to become a self-awakened Buddha. It enabled many of his noble disciples to become Arahants as well. (Story from Student Weekly. Pictures by myself.)

People are giving some food to the monks by putting it into the big bowls. Later the nun will come to put some of the food into the smaller bowls and they will take it upstairs to give to the monks.
They are working together to get all the food from downstairs to upstairs. The woman dressed in white on the right is a nun, she is helping them.
They are getting to ready to start the ceremony for Wisakha Puja day. Picture on the right are things we will give to the monks. These are monk's robes, incense sticks, flowers, candles and things they need like umbrella, soap, plate, toothpaste, toothbrush etc.
Everyone is sitting down and listening to the monks chanting, but some kids are playing. They are tired and bored (I think because I was too). They have to sit still for 10 or 15 minutes listening to the monks. The words they are chanting are not Thai. I think it is Pali language. This is an old language. Lots of people don't understand what it means, but we still have to listen to it. When we grow up, we will know most of these words because the teacher teach us at school and we have to learn it.
My mum is giving some food to the monks by putting it on the cloth. She can't give to him hand to hand because she's a woman. Monks are not allow to touch women. Person on the right, dressed in white, is a nun. She is living in the same temple but not in the same area!
My mum and my grandmum are pouring water into a cup. Can you see my mum's hands, she is touching my grandmum to get some of the merit. This is called "Kruat Nam" in Thai. The reason they do it, is because they want to share some of the merit with dead people.