Jun 022012
 


Panyaden School marked one of the holiest days in Thai Buddhism, Visakha Bucha on a cool, cloudy morning by first offering alms to local Chiang Mai monks. We were an international group comprising of Thai and foreign students, parents and teachers from different countries and cultures.

Some of us have never participated in such a ceremony before, so it was helpful when our music teacher, Kru Tee explained the procedure in Thai, and how we should respectfully present our offerings. Kru Neil, our School Director, followed with an explanation in English.

Thai and foreign students & teachers of Panyaden, bilingual school in Chiang Mai, waiting to offer alms Thai and foreign students and teachers of bilingual school, Panyaden, offering alms to Chiang Mai monks Panyaden School offering alms as part of Visaka Bucha celebrations Panyaden School students offering food to Chiang Mai monks at school

Visakha Bucha Day** commemorates three important days in the Buddha’s life: his birth, enlightenment and passing. Our school joined Buddhists around Thailand to pay homage to the Triple Gems of Buddhism: the Lord Buddha (the great teacher), The Dhamma (his teachings) and The Sangha (the Buddhist clergy).

After the alms offering and blessings from the monks, we were each given beautiful lotus buds, three joss sticks and candles. We proceeded to the school’s eco-friendly bamboo Buddha Sala to begin the final part of today’s ceremony, the ‘wien tien’ which means walking around the temple with a candle (tien)’ in Thai. Led by the monks, we walked clockwise around the sala three times, before laying down our offerings on the table in front of the school’s main Buddha image.

Getting ready for the candle ceremony, Panyaden School in Chiang Mai Chiang Mai monks leading Panyaden School in candle ceremony on Wisakha Bucha Panyaden School's Thai and foreign teachers and students in a Buddhist ceremony Buddhist ceremony at international school in Thailand, PanyadenFlower offerings by Thai and foreign students and staff of international school in Chiang Mai Visakha Bucha flower offerings at intenational bilingual school in Chiang Mai, Panyaden

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**Visakha Bucha Day is normally celebrated on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month, usually falls in May. In the case of a year with an extra eighth lunar month where there are 13 full moons like this year, Wisakha Bucha Day will fall on 4 June, the full moon day of the seventh lunar month. Panyaden School commemorated this day earlier as 4 June is a public holiday.