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Visakha Bucha Buddhist holiday brings alcohol ban

Visakha Bucha Buddhist holiday brings alcohol ban

PHUKET: The major Buddhist holiday Visakha Bucha Day will be honoured this Saturday (May 18), followed by a substitution day public holiday next Monday (May 20).

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By The Phuket News

Tuesday 14 May 2019, 08:55AM


Image: Class Act Media

Image: Class Act Media

As Visakha Bucha Day is a holy day, all shops, bars and restaurants are barred from selling alcohol for 24 hours from midnight to midnight on Saturday (00:01hrs-23:59hrs).

However, there is no ban on the sale of alcohol next Monday.

Each year on Visakha Bucha Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate three great events on this full moon of the sixth lunar month: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha.

Devout Buddhists rise early to visit temples to make merit and listen to sermons on the Buddha’s teachings.

After sunset, candle-lit processions will take place at major temples throughout the country, with devout Buddhists walking clockwise three times around the principal chapel while clasping three incense sticks, a lighted candle and lotus buds. During the “wiang tian” candle processions, the air is filled with burning incense and smoke from the candles as the faithful complete this most sacred of Buddhist celebrations.

On Saturday, most government offices on the island will be closed, including Phuket Immigration Office, the Employment Office, the Land Transport Office and the island’s three District Offices. Also most local consulates will be closed.

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All main bank branches will be closed, but branches in shopping centres will remain open.

All Royal Thai Police and Tourist Police stations will remain open.

On Saturday, alcohol sales is prohibited across the country, except at duty-free shops at the airport.

According to an announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office on January 22, 2015, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on five specific religious days: Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, Asarnha Bucha Day, Khao Pansa and Wan Org Pansa days.

The Class Act Media and IMAGE asia offices will be closed on Visakha Bucha Day on Saturday (May 18) and on Monday (May 20) to observe the national public holiday, and re-open as usual on Tuesday (May 21).

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CaptainJack69 | 15 May 2019 - 13:11:34

It must be just me but the very idea of a forced ban on anything seems the polar opposite of the fundamental tenets of the Buddhist  philosophy. Like I said, must just be me.

Also any law enforcing ANY religious doctrine is unconstitutional even here in the land of smiles.

Still, as long as false appearances are maintained for fictional observers then all's well right?

Kurt | 14 May 2019 - 11:29:41

Thanks for alcohol ban warning. Not a evening to go out for Saturday night dinner in freedom to have a glass of wine. Sorry, restaurants. Well, many of the restaurants/bars close than anyway. Making Phuket tourist spots  boring 'ghost spots'. Must have impact on the income of the bar social workers. A night without income...