Vesak or Visakha Puja or Visakha Bucha is the holiest of Buddhist festivals in Thailand. The festival marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha, who founded Buddhism centuries ago. Vesak is celebrated on the 15th day of the waxing moon in the 6th lunar month, which is usually May. Sight of a Vesak candle procession fills one with joy. Significance of Vesak lies with Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind. Pattaya wears a festive look on the occasion of Vesak.
Visiting of Temples
People get up early morning and visit the temples where they listen
attentively to the preaching of the monks. They offer food and sweets to
the monks. Religious flags are hoisted in the temples and hymns are sang
for the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The
Sangha (his disciples). They take oath to refrain from killing of any
kind and partake vegetarian food. Some devout Buddhists wear a simple
white dress and spend the whole day in temples with renewed
determination to observe the observance of the Eight Precepts.
Some temples have a small idol of baby Buddha in a small basin filled
with water and decorated with flowers. Devotees pour water over the
idol. This ritual is symbolic of the events following the Buddha's
birth. Buddhists legends say that deities made heavenly offerings to
Buddha on his birth. The message of Buddha stands today as unaffected by
time and the expansion of knowledge as when they were first enunciated.
At dusk, a candle or torchlight procession is taken out. The procession
circumambulates the shrine three times. Devotees walking in the
procession carry flowers and glowing incense sticks to pay silent
respect to Buddha. Health food cooking is displayed in many places.
Activities such as marathon are also undertaken.
The festival is celebrated in June in leap years. The celebration is
called Vesak being the name of the month in the Indian calendar.