Visakha Bucha in Chiang Mai ~ Thailand


Visakha Bucha panorama with meditating monks in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

One of the most important religious holidays along with Makha Bucha in many Buddhist countries, Visakha Bucha (pronounced Wisakha Bucha in Thailand) celebrates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha, which according to the Theravada Buddhist traditions, all took place on the same day of the year: On the full moon of the Indian lunar month of Wisaka.

The sixth lunar month, usually falls in May, or beginning of June. This year, it was on the 4th of June in Chiang Mai.

In most Buddhist countries, including Thailand, it is an official public holiday. Like many Buddhist holidays, pubs and bars are also closed and no alcohol is served anywhere during the whole day.

On this day, devotees, usually dressed in white, visit temples, bring offerings, meditate and listen to sermons. In the evenings there is often a candlelit procession, and the devotees walk around the main Chedi (stupa) of the temple three times, celebrating the triple jewel of Buddhism – the Buddha, his teaching (Dhamma), and the monkhood (Sangha).

In Chiang Mai, a pilgrimage is also held at night, up Doi Suthep, the local mountain towering over the city. It is believed that anyone who accomplishes the pilgrimage and does the wien tiane (walking around the chedi) for three rounds on Wisakha Bucha day, will receive the results of making merit: virtue, luck, and prosperity.

Here are a few shots I took in Wat Pan Tao, one of my favorite temples in the old city. In the evening, young monks place candles all around a pond and meditate while Buddhist chants echo in the background.

Enjoy. (click on the images for a bigger photo)

Wat Pan Tao and the chedi in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

 

Young Monks lighting candles in a pond during Visakha Bucha in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

Young monks lighting candles next to a bamboo chedi in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

A monk lighting a candle in a pond during Visakha Bucha in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

A young meditating monk next to a Buddha statue during Visakha Bucha in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

Meditating monks during Visakha Bucha in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

 

Candle meditation in a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

Releasing lanterns during Buddhist holidays in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


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23 Comments on "Visakha Bucha in Chiang Mai ~ Thailand"

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Giulia
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I love all the photos, especially the one with the monk and the reflection in the water… I am thinking of buying a print, but I assume that shipment to Egypt will be long and painful :(

Daniel Nahabedian
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Thanks Giulia!
Don’t know much about shipping in Egypt. I use Fotomoto and Smugmug for it. It probably would take a while I guess :-/

Janine Rivers
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I really appreciate the skill you have when it comes to taking photos – your work is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Daniel Nahabedian
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Thank you very much! 

Christinamalkoun
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Dan, it’s amazingly peaceful! when i get to chiang mai next month, i need to go there! is this once in a year ritual?

Daniel Nahabedian
Guest

Hey you!
They usually do this whole candle meditation show at every Buddhist holiday, so about 3-4 times a year I guess. 
I don’t know about July-August though :(

Reykjavik Holidays
Guest

Is there any festival or something like that? But truly awesome photos which I had never seen before. You have an amazing Eye. You captured the spirit perfectly that’s why photos seems to be real. Thanks for sharing such a nice photos with us.

Hotels in Paris
Guest

This is an amazing photo series! Bravo!

Hotels in Paris http://hotelsinpariswebsite.blogspot.com/

adventurerob
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Great set of images there. Suits the title of your website too :-)

Daniel Nahabedian
Guest

Hehe, thanks! 

Cheap Car Hire
Guest

It looks stunning. Thailand seems to be decorated as a new bride. It is decorated every year like this. Right?

joshi daniel
Guest

so beautiful :)

Daniel Nahabedian
Guest

Thank you :)

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[…] top ones include the Umbrella Festival in January, Flower Festival in February, Songkran in April, Visakha Bucha in May, Yi Peng and Loi Kratong in November and the Rose Festival in December – there is […]

facebook fans
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Young Monks looks so involved

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[…] found out earlier that today is one of the most important Buddhist holidays, known in Thailand as Visakha Bucha (วิสาขบูชา). Celebrated all across Asia as a major holiday, Visakha Bucha marks the birth, enlightenment and […]

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travellingforfun
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Super photos. Very beautiful. The monks have such concentration on their faces.

Ryan
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Beautiful pictures!

Daniel Nahabedian
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Thank you Ryan :)