Visakha Puja Day is one of the greatest religious holidays which falls on the 15th day of the waxing moon in the 6th lunar month. The sig-nificant celebration is held to commemorate the Buddha’s birth, enlighten-ment and death (Parinibbana).
In Thailand, as a Buddhist country with His Majesty the King as the Upholder of all Religions, this auspicious day is celebrated throughout the country. Religious flags are flown. Religious ceremonies and merit-makings are performed countrywide. Meanwhile, in the countryside people will wake up in the early morning to prepare food and sweets for monks, and at dawn they walk in a long line to the nearby temple where they will spend the greater part of the day in religious activities. The activities are usually centred around the temple where they attend sermons during the day and in the evening take part in the candle-lit procession that circumam-bulates the main chapel three times. In the procession, each person carries bulates the main chapel three times. In the procession, each person carries flowers, three incense sticks and a lighted candle in remembrance of the Triple Gems (The Buddha, His Teaching and His disciples).
On this occasion, a grand religious ceremony is also held at Phutha Monthon in Nakhon Pathom Province where the statue of the Walking Buddha is located. Here the candle-lit procession is usually led by a member of the royal family. Buddhists from nearby and other provinces come to take part in the procession and some of them may take the time off to purify their minds through the practice of meditation and listening to the sermons.