Two Buddhist holidays – Asahna Bucha and Khao Phansa (the start of Buddhist Lent) combined with a bridging holiday on Friday mark the start of a five day break starting tomorrow on 13 July through to Sunday 17 July.
An alcohol ban is normally enforced on the Buddhist holidays (Wednesday and Thursday).
In previous years the offical line has been:
“The Royal Thai Police said that jail terms of six months and/or fines of 10,000 baht await anyone breaking the ban on the selling and distribution of alcohol which is strictly enforced.”
“The only exceptions are international airports”.
Where and if you can get a beer will probably depend on local factors but it is one of the most strictly enforced ‘big’ Buddhist holidays.
Stocking up today is usally a wise move if you do like a drink or two.
Asahna Bucha marks the day of the first sermon after the Lord Buddha’s enlightenment celebrating the Sangha which is the buddhist community of monks and lay Buddhists. The holiday also celebrates the Four Noble Truths mentioned in the sermon.
These four noble truths, briefly are:
1. All life is Suffering,
2. There is a cause to suffering which is ignorant attachment or grasping.
3. There is an end to suffering.
4. The cure for the suffering is the “true path” or “noble eightfold path” that leads to the end of suffering and in its ultimate conclusion nirvana; A higher state of elightenment transcending this life.
Many Thais will be going on holiday and/or will be joining in with candlelight vigils or making offerings at local temples.
Many will also give up something such as alcohol for Buddhist Lent – a three to four month period.
We hope it is enjoyed by all.