Pattaya, Thailand -- On the full moon day of the sixth
lunar month, Buddhists in Thailand celebrate the enlightenment of the
Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is this very same day that two other
most important events in Buddhism are believed to have occurred—the
birth of Buddha, 45 years before his enlightenment, and his passing away
35 years later.
As the center of the world Buddhism, Thailand has arranged special
activities to celebrate the Day of Vesak this year as it marks 2,600
years of the Enlightenment of the Buddha. The Sangha Supreme Council of
Thailand has named this auspicious occasion “Buddhajayanti,” which means
the celebration of Buddha’s victory over all sins and temptations by
The Buddha attained enlightenment by discovering the Four Noble
Truths about suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of
suffering, and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. From its
origin in the Indian sub-continent, Buddhism has spread to Thailand and
prospered here until it is now regarded as the national religion, with
the majority of Thais being Buddhists.
There are many Buddhist activities and celebrations every year in
Thailand to pay respect to the Buddha and remind Buddhists of his
teachings. The Day of Vesak on the occasion of Buddhajayanti is a
historic event celebrated nationwide by all sectors of the society since
mid May 2012. The main activities taking place at Sanam Luang in
Bangkok include merit-making and walks around Buddha’s relics or “Wien
Thien.” The last walk on Vesak Day, which is on 4 June 2012, will be
presided over by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Another grand Vesak celebration is taking place at Buddha Monthon or
Buddhist Park in Nakhon Pathom province, where Her Royal Highness
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will attend a “Wien Thien” ceremony on 4
June at 4.30 pm.
The Buddhajayanti celebrations extend beyond the Day of Vesak. After 4
June, the International Buddhist Film Festival 2012 will be organized
for the first time in Thailand at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld from
7-10 June 2012. The event features 15 films from 10 countries including
Thailand, Japan, China, Korea, U.S.A. and Germany. The opening movie is
“Prem Sanyas” or “The Light of Asia,” a 1925 silent movie about the life
of Buddha and the origin of Buddhism.
The Day of Vesak on the occasion of Buddhajayanti marking 2,600 years
of Buddha’s enlightenment is a once in a life time event. Buddhists
should take this opportunity to support Buddhism, practice his
teachings, and do good deeds as taught by Buddha, as well as by the
founders of the world’s other religions.