Enter Buddhist Lent Day is a period of three lunar months during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in one particular place or Temple. During 3 months, from July to September.
Central Region (ภาคกลาง)
In the Central region, there is an ancient tradition called the “Flower Alms Festival” that occurs only once a year at Wat Phra Buddha in Saraburi. There is a moving flower float that the buddhist worshipers can take flowers from and give to the monks for blessing. The flowers themselves are of importance as they are native to only Saraburi. The ceremony is also of note as the lay people give flowers to the monks instead of food to mark the start of Buddhist Lent. This tradition is held annually between 7 – 9 July at Wat Phra Buddha district of Phra Buddha, Saraburi.
How can you do to prepare your alms?
- Prepare the dried food or something that can be transferred easily.
- Seal off rice in each bag.
- Not offer the plastic cup of drinking water.
- If you would like to offer money, please put it in the donation box.
Northern Region (ภาคเหนือ)
The Northern region has a cultural tradition particular only to this part called the “Wax Candle Alms Festival” which has been celebrated by the Vieng-Sa people for a long time. This tradition involves both monks and lay people making merit together. In other regions, only the lay people make merit to the monk. Only those who visit Nan province can see this special tradition. After midday, the monks will bring wax candles along with flowers to place in the monk’s bowl as alms; the two wax candles represent Buddha’s teaching and Buddha’s discipline and the flowers represent the monks themselves. After that, the lay people will give alms and place the wax candles in the monk’s’ bowl. This is a really rare event in Thailand and it is not easy to find this kind of tradition nowadays.
Northeast Region (ภาคอีสาน)
The Northeast region has a ”Wax Candle Parade” that all of the people in Thailand wait to watch due to the exquisite carving workmanship of wax candles being shown at the parade in Ubon Ratchathani. This ceremony will be held on July 9, 2017. The ceremony itself is not the only part that interests people but also Northeastern Thai Arts and Culture including Northeastern Thai dancing, the queen of the candle pageant and so on.
Southern Region (ภาคใต้)
Although the Southern region is a central pillar of the Thai Muslim community, there are still plenty of Buddhist people who live in this part too, like in Nakorn Sri Thamaraj province. Every year this province will organise the Incense Stick and Candles Alms Festival by arranging a ceremony merged with merit making for the revered Phra Kru Pisit Auttakarn and other respected religious teachers for good fortune in life. This festival will be held between 11 to 12 July annually.