Tag Archives: Buddhist Lent

Candles for Light & Inspiration

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Caga’ (generosity) in action. Making candles to present to Venerable Ajahn Jiew from Pha Yen Boon Temple for Khao Pansa (the rains retreat, or Buddhist Lent). Wat Pha Yen Boon has no electricity so we hope our small offerings will provide light and inspiration during this time of contemplation.

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Asanha Bucha at Panyaden

dsc_6556 Asanha Bucha Day at Panyaden School Chiang Mai

Preparations for commemorating Asanha Bucha Day started on Wednesday at Panyaden School. Our students made large candles to present our guest, the Venerable Ajahn Jiew from Wat Pha Yen Boon, Chiang Rai.

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Candle-making photos here on the blog. 

Today, we began with our Prathom 5-6 students presenting to their younger Anuban schoolmates the significance of this day, which is one of the most important Buddhist festivals of the year, marking the Buddha’s first sermon. The following day, Wan Khao Pansa, also marks the start of the Buddhist Lent, a time for doing good deeds and committing to the moral precepts. It is a time when monks retreat for three months during the rainy season for contemplation and religious studies.

Later in the day, our student representatives also gave the same bilingual presentation to the other primary students. A large candle was then presented to the Venerable Ajahn Jiew before we all went on to our school’s Buddha Sala for the ‘wien tien’ procession.

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After the ceremony, Ajahn Jiew visited the Kindergarten 3 students in their classroom answering questions like “Are there aliens?”’and ”Why do you shave your head?'” before conducting a talk for teachers, staff, parents and members of the public.

Ajahn Jiew spoke about the wisdom of Dhamma that already exists in nature and in us. The Buddha himself encourages us to investigate, experience and understand the Dhamma for ourselves. The Sangha is here to guide and point us to the Dhamma. The talk ended with a series of questions from the audience before Ajahn Jiew led everyone in a short meditation session.

Click here for Asanha Bucha Day photos.

Candle-making

Candles for illumination during Khao Phansa

Everyone at Panyaden School from the older nursery children to our Prathom students and staff had a try at the art of candle-making today. Filled with curiosity, we gathered around Kru Or as she showed us the basic steps of making a candle. Applause and encouragement erupted each time after someone successfully pours liquid wax gently into the tall candle moulds recycled from thick cardboard.

The finished candles will be presented to Venerable Ajahn Jiew tomorrow when he visits us in Chiang Mai to meet with our students and to give a Dhamma talk to the public. Offerings of large candles are traditionally given to monks at the start of Khao Phansa Day in Thailand (the Buddhist Lent when monks retreat into their temples for 3 months of spiritual rejuvenation, study and reflection). In the past, the candles were essential sources of light for temple ceremonies and for the monks as they studied the scriptures in the dark monsoon nights. Buddhists also believe that the light from the candles symbolize spiritual illumination for the monks.

Lots more photos here.