When “This is Holiday Semester” is No Joke

I’d been told that the second semester in the Thai school calendar could definitely be renamed “Holiday Semester.” Because, well, there are so many days off due to holidays. These re-namers were not kidding. Friday is Makha Bucha Day here in Thailand, which means we get a 3-day weekend. But of course it means more than that. (Let’s be honest, even Labor Day in the States has a meaning greater than “3-day weekend! Hooray!”)

I found an excellent explanation of the holiday by Daily Mail’s Steve Robson. You can find the full article here. But here’s a recap:

  • Makha Bucha Day is a major Buddhist holiday on which alcohol is banned.
  • It occurs on the first full moon day in the third lunar month.
  • It commemorates Buddha’s first sermon, given nine months after his enlightenment. As the story goes, 1,250 monks suddenly appeared to hear this sermon.
  • Buddhists celebrate Makha Bucha Day by going to temple. Buddhist monks celebrate with a clock-wise direction processional involving lit candles, flowers, and incense sticks (which represent the Three Jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, Buddha’s teachings, and monkhood). 
    You can find this image by Reuters in the above link.
    You can find this image by Reuters in the above link.

    Friday is also Valentine’s Day, right?! So, Happy Day of Love. I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, but I do love holidays in general. So while you won’t see me breaking out any pink or red clothing, I’ll be walking around feeling cheery nonetheless. (I’ll also be traveling, so the cheerfulness will be quite accounted for.) Happy Makha Bucha Day! Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy any-other-holiday that I’ve missed! 🙂

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