Yesterday was Asarnha Bucha Day which marked one of the most sacred days in the Buddhist religion. Asarnha Bucha is observed by paying homage, donating offerings to temples and attending sermons; it occurs in the eighth month of the lunar calendar.
Today, immediately following Asarnha Bucha Day, is Wan Khao Phan Sa, the start of the 3-month Buddhist Lent. During this time, Thais are encouraged to abstain from drinking alcohol for the duration. Some Thais opt to give up smoking or eating meat instead. Wan Khao Phan Sa is deemed a “no alcohol day” by the government, so all sales of alcohol are prohibited, hotels excluded.
It’s an exciting time to visit the Thai temples to witness the traditional ceremonies and candlelit processions. If you’re looking for the “real” Thailand, you’ll surely get a glimpse of it during Wan Khao Phan Sa.