In the Pali language, “Asanha” is the name of the eighth lunar month. In Thailand this year, this one of the most sacred days in Buddhism is celebrated on July 15 as government holiday.
In his first sermon, the Buddha made clear the four great truths which lead to Nirvana
that became the foundation doctrines of Buddhism:
1. Sorrow: all things are a source of suffering from the constant cycle of birth,
disease, old age and death.
2. Cause of sorrow: desire, or the inability to obtain what one desires, is the cause of
3. Cessation of sorrow: freedom from suffering can be obtained after the complete
cessation of desire.
4. Paths to the cessation of sorrow: the last of the four noble truths is the Middle
Way, or the path between the extremes of asceticism and indulgence, leading to the
eliminating of desire.
One of disciples immediately asked to become a monk to start his journey to Nirvana.
Asarnha Bucha Day occurs one day before Wan Kao Pansa, the start of the Buddhist Lent.
Offerings to monks begin at dawn to make merit, and the day can be spent listening to sermons, and praying in the meditative peace of temples around the country.
Families use the occasion to come together and join in sedate and colourful Wientian candle processions around temple buildings in the night to complete a religious day.