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Boat Lighting Festival

DSC 0305Enter 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 wat (temple). Monks and novices have to swear themselves to live in the same place. They can’t stay in the other places over night. This period monks are strictly in practicing meditation. Every full moon day, monks have to gather in one temple to recite “Phadhimoka” or 227 rules of monk. Khao Phansa Day is on the first day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month and marks the beginning of the three-month rainy season. The tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annual three-month rains retreat known in Lao as "Phansa". Khao Phansa means to remain in one place during the rainy season.

There are two words “Khao and Phansa” Khao denotes “enter” Phansa represents a time of renewed spiritual vigor and Khao Phansa festival is a major Buddhism merit-making festival.

The day before Khao Phansa Day is Asalha Puja Day. The day falls on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. This day is also very important in Buddhism as the day of the Triple Gems happened such as: Buddha, Dhamma, and Shangha, which the day of the Lord Buddha preached his first sermon to the five disciples such as: Anyakondanya, Padhiya, Vabbha, Mahanama, and Atsasi. The Sermon is “Dhammachakkabbhavattana sutta or (The wheels of life). The main sermon is to refrain sexual pleasure (kammasuka), and mortification (Atta kilanuyoka), and practice in the middle way (Makkamakka padhipadha), the day is usually celebrated by merit making, listening to a monk’s sermon, and joining a candle light procession during the night.

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