Visakha Puja is an important Buddhist holiday in honor of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and nirvana. It is traditionally celebrated in May – early June. This bright holiday, during which people pay homage to Buddha’s wisdom and knowledge, is considered to be one of the most solemn and beautiful festivals, and therefore it is the favorite holiday of the locals and tourists.
Main centers for Visakha Puja festivities are Buddhist temples. Big oil lamps – a symbol of enlightenment that came into the world with Buddha’s birnbth – are placed around the sacred Bodhi trees and stupas the evening before the holiday. Garlands of flowers and paper lanterns are hung on the trees during the holiday.
Since early morning people start coming to Buddhist temples in order to bring gifts – food and sweets – to the monks, to give alms and to listen to sermons. Thais try to do various good doings, which will be taken into account in their future lives, during the day. And in the evening, everybody participates in festival’s main event – the candle procession, during which everyone holds three perfumed sticks, a flower and a burning candle. Bangkok’s most spectacular procession is made around the Marble Temple.
Capital’s banks and public institutions are closed on this day. And alcohol sale is prohibited almost everywhere.