Makha Bucha in Thailand in 2025

Makha Bucha in Thailand in 2025
  How long until Makha Bucha?
Makha Bucha
  Dates of Makha Bucha in Thailand
2025 Thailand Wed, Feb 12 National Holiday
2024 Feb 24, Feb 26
ThailandMon, Feb 26National Holiday (in lieu)
ThailandSat, Feb 24National Holiday
2023 Thailand Mon, Mar 6 National Holiday
2022 Thailand Wed, Feb 16 National Holiday
2021 Thailand Fri, Feb 26 National Holiday

Shortly after Buddha began his teachings, 1250 monks gathered to hear Buddha preach.

  Makha Bucha in other countries
Makha Bucha internationally
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Makha Bucha in Thailand

Despite the great age of the events of Maka Bucha, (Buddha was teaching over 2,500 years ago) this day only became a holiday in Thailand in 1957. Prior to 1957, the third lunar month was celebrated as a Buddhist Holy Day.

In Thailand, the sale of alcohol is banned on religious holidays. This means bars and clubs are closed for the entire holiday. If Maka Bucha falls on a weekend, a substitute holiday will be observed on the following Monday. Similar restrictions on the sale of alcohol will also apply on this day.

When is Maka Bucha?

Maka Bucha is a public holiday in several Mekong region countries such as Cambodia and Thailand. This festival is the second most important Buddhist festival. As with most Buddhist festivals, its date depends on the Lunar cycle. The holiday may also be known as Magha Puja or Lord Buddha Day.

On this day, the full moon of the third lunar month (called Tabodwe); seven months after Buddha began his teachings, over a thousand monks gathered to hear Buddha preach.

Buddha ordained these monks and spread the principles of Buddhism. This marked a key event in the development of the religion.

45 years later, on the same full moon in the third lunar month, Buddha again delivered his teachings shortly before his death.

This third lunar month on which both events occurred is known in Buddhist Pali language as 'Makha'. 'Bucha', means to honour.

How is Maka Bucha Day celebrated?

In the morning many Thai people wake up early to give alms to monks. In the evening, temples are full of people listening to sermons. They often perform a ritual known as the candle ceremony where they walk clockwise three times around the temple. holding flowers, incense, and a lighted candle. Each of the three circuits represents one of the three jewels (ideas at the heart of Buddhism) - Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

Makha Bucha Traditions in Thailand

Makha Bucha has been celebrated in modern-day Thailand since the reign (1851 - 1868) of King Rama IV. It was initially observed only on the grounds of the royal palace and later became more widely recognised nationally before becoming a Thai public holiday in 1957. The Thai government has imposed an alcohol ban since 2015.

Alcohol and drugs are just a few things Buddhists avoid on Makha Bucha Day. The restricted behaviours include gambling, lying and gossiping, harming other living things and eating meat, sexual promiscuity, and stealing. Even Buddhists who are less devout might avoid eating meat and drinking alcohol on this day.

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