Samui to celebrate Visaka Bucha

9 May 2011

Buddhists and tourists on Samui Island will be heading to temples next week to celebrate Visaka Bucha Day. The occasion marks the three main events in Lord Buddha’s life, which are birth, enlightenment and death.   

Holidaymakers on Samui will see temples on the island festively decorated in the days beforehand. Buddhists will go to the temples on May 17th and offer prayers to monks and Buddha statues in the prayer halls of the temples.

The occasion also calls for Thai people to light joss sticks and candles and make donations to monks. Visitors can earn merit by releasing one of the caged birds on offer at the temples, an action that symbolizes a new freedom from previous woes and problems.

As well as decorations in temple compounds, tourists will spot residences and hotels adorned with paper lanterns, which adds a surreal air to the proceedings.

The timing of Visaka Bucha Day is not dictated by the Gregorian calendar but, as with many Buddhist celebrations and holidays, by the lunar one. In Thailand, the day is remembered on the first full moon of May, which this year falls on the 17th.

Visitors on the island are able to witness this vibrant event by going to temples close to beach resorts such as Chaweng, Lamai and Bo Phut. As the event is a religious one, tourists are advised to wear respectable clothes which cover upper arms and knees.

Tags: Samui Visaka Bucha

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