Sunday, July 17, 2011

Celebrating Asranha Bucha Day in Thailand

Celebrating Asranha Bucha Day in Thailand
Wat Rang Bua in Bang Kae
This past weekend was Asranha Bucha Day in Thailand, which is a particularly sacred day in Buddhism as it is seen as celebrating the Lord Buddha, His teachings and His Disciples. It commemorates the day when the Lord Buddha, having achieved Enlightenment, gave his first sermon to his disciples. The Lord Buddha’s first sermon contained four great truths which have become the backbone of all Buddhist teachings. It is believed that following the four truths can lead you to Nirvana or Enlightenment. Asranha Day is also considered to be the first day of Buddhism because one of his followers, having listened to Buddha’s sermon realized the truths contained within and so became the first Buddhist monk.

During the festival of Asarnha Bucha many worshippers visit their local temple in order to pay homage to the Lord Buddha. The video shows the ‘Wien Tien’ ritual where my friends and other worshippers showed their respect by walking three times in a clockwise direction around the Buddha’s statue, carrying with them flowers, joss sticks and candles. Because the ritual takes place in the early evening, the candles create a magical light which beautifully represents the wonder of this very special occasion.

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