Saturday, 14 February 2009
Macha Bucha Day, Isaan Thailand 2009.
The other week we attended our local temple for Macha Bucha Day, it is spelt many different ways. There were plenty of little venders set up offering different things.
We stopped at the entrance to the temple to buy our offering, being incense sticks. flowers and a candle.
The day is considered important to Buddhists as this day marks the great four events that took place during Lord Buddha's lifetime, namely;
1250 Buddhist monks from different places came to pay reverence to Lord Buddha. They all turned up without knowing other monks were also doing this.
All of them were the enlightened monks (or Arahantas)
All of them had been individually ordained by Lord Buddha himself (Ehi Bhikkhu)
They assembled on the full moon day of the third lunar month.
We stopped to light our candles before entering the temple grounds.
We started off on three laps of the temple, walking clockwise. One time’s for the Lord Buddha, One time’s for the Sangha and Buddhist monk community, and one time’s for the Dharma - Buddhist teachings.
The girls were trying to keep their candles alight. We arrived about 7.15pm, I had intended to pay respect and be gone before the 8pm ceremony.
We had nearly completed 2 laps when the head monk announced that the ceremony was starting, which meant we were going to have to sit down on the grass and listen to the chanting.
So after about 30 minutes we finally could join the rest of the people and follow the monks as they started the 3 laps, the temple was now packed as we made our last lap. You can see all the smoke from the incense sticks burning.
We then made our way to the base of the temple; here you drip some of your wax from your candle onto the footing of the temple. You stand your candle up and then say a prayer. You place your 3 incense sticks into the ground and lay your flowers on the temple.
It was jam packed now as people took part in the candlelit procession or "Wien Tien." I was happy that we only had 1 lap left as it was just too crowded and too hard to even walk without tripping or kicking people.
People started to file into the temple; it was a long and slow line to be in.
As I was leaving the temple grounds the sea of heads were still making their 3 laps.
On the way out the girls had to get something to eat. This is dried squid.
It smells pretty bad, but when it is heated like this it absolutely stinks.
It is then placed in a roller. It flattens it out and also must tenderize it as well, Thais love it and you see motorbikes riding all about the place selling squid like this.
So that was Macha Bucha Day 2009 in Isaan Thailand.