Thousands of Vientiane merits makers celebrate Makhabouxa Day
Thousands of merit makers gave alms to 1,500 monks and novices at Pha That Luang esplanade on Saturday morning in Vientiane to mark the Makhabouxa Day celebration.
The event is very special as it commemorates one of the most important Buddhist celebrations Makhabouxa Day which is also celebrated globally by Buddhist people.
Makhabouxa is a festival celebrating the teaching of the Lord Buddha.
Alongside the almsgiving many activities were held allowing more opportunities for people to make merit such as with donations of money, food, and offerings.
F ollowing the alms giving a yellow rope procession and money presentation session called Phapa Samakkhy was organised by a group of Thai devotees from Thailand to help raise funds for the Pha That Luang renovation with more than 20 million kip and 101 Bath of gold donated.
The event was organised by Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organisation in cooperation with Lao Front for National Construction and attended by Vientiane Mayor, Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune, officials and the general public.
A member of Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organisation Committee, Venerable Veth Masenay who led the monks and novices on receiving offerings, said it was good that so many people gave alms to mark Makhabouxa Day because it was the appropriate way to commemorate the important Buddhist event.
Makhabouxa Day is one of the most important Buddhist celebrations which falls on the full moon day of the third lunar month (This year on 11 February).
It refers to the worship that takes place at this time in which Lord Buddha recited the Ovadha Patimokkha (the Fundamental Teachings) to his disciples.
The day marks the great four events that took place during Lord Buddha's lifetime, namely: the Time of the Full Moon in the Third lunar month when 1,250 disciples from different places came to pay homage to the Lord Buddha without any appointment; all of them were Arahants (enlightened monks); all of them had been individually ordained by Lord Buddha himself; and in the evening of that day, Lord Buddha gave the assembly a Ovadha Patimokkha discourse laying down the principles of his teachings to be followed by all Buddhists summarised into three acts of doing good, abstaining from bad actions a nd purifying the mind.
In Laos, the day has become a traditional merit-making occasion for Buddhists, with people going to temples for giving alms and offerings, listening to Dhamma preaching by monks, practicing chanting and meditation, and taking part in candlelight processions in the evening.
By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update February 13, 2017)