Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Macha Bucha (& Valentine's Day)

Every year Buddhist countries celebrate Sangha Day. Sangha Day is the second most important Buddhist festival and is a celebration in honour of the Sangha, or the Buddhist community.

Sangha Day commemorates the spontaneous gathering of 1,250 enlightened monks (arahants) to hear the Buddha preach at Veluvana Vihara.

At this gathering, the Buddha gave his first sermon, or recitation of the Patimokkha (the rules and regulations of the monastic order).

It is celebrated on the full moon day of Māgha (the third lunar month) in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar where the month is called Phālguna, from the Hindu calendar. The spiritual aims of the day are: not to commit any kind of sins; do only good; purify one's mind. Māgha Pūjā is a public holiday in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

Celebrations vary, but can include chanting, meditation, the lighting of oil lamps, and the reaffirmation of people's commitment to Buddhist practice.

Oh, and this year it coincides with Valentine's day............... so love all around!

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