Khao Lak observes start of Buddhist Lent

The Buddhist Channel, June 5, 2011

Khao Lak, Thailand -- People staying in Khao Lak or anywhere in Thailand in July will embark on special ceremonies to mark the start of one of Buddhism’s most significant events.

Khao Phansa is the start of Buddhist Lent which is also known as the rain retreat and sees all monks staying within the grounds of the temples for around three months. The origins of the festival come from when the Lord Buddha was alive and he saw monks walking outside of the temples who were in greater risk of walking on and killing small insects.

The event always takes place in July and this is the start of the monsoon season and the weather causes more leaves and debris to fall from the trees so itís easier for insects underneath to be accidently stepped on. Killing is to be avoided by all monks so this is why they donít go outside the compounds and remain inside to study and practice meditation.

The start of the event is determined by the moon and this year will start on 16th July 2011. People staying in Khao Lak hotels during this time can visit one of the nearby temples and observe the people giving offerings to monks who rely purely on outside donations.