The End of Buddhist Lent Day .. 29th October 2023 is the End of Buddhist Lent Day. This day is considered as one of the important days in Buddhism in Thailand. . Background
The End of Buddhist Lent Day or “Mahapawarana Day” is the day which monks finish retreating to their temples for three months during rainy season. On the day, monks will convene to perform the grand deed ceremony (Mahapawarana) in the temple precincts. This offers the opportunity for monks to give constructive critiques to other monks in order to be more careful of their manners and improve themselves. Monks can ask each other what they may have questions about.
According to the Buddha’s commandment, after the End of Buddhist Lent Day, monks can stay at other places and receive virtues as followings:
Able to go without giving notice. Able not to carry a complete set of Buddhist monk’s robe. To have the right to receive the given offering. To rejoice with someone in the Kathin Ceremony (religious ceremony of presenting robes to the Buddhist monks). To receive an extended period of the virtues for the next 4 months. . Importance
In the Buddhist scriptures, Lord Buddha will come from the 2nd level of heaven (Daowadueng) to the human world on this day after the retreating period and after giving sermons to his mother who stays at the 4th level of heaven (Dusit). . Ceremony
Every year, on this day, people will traditionally make merit, give food and offering to monks in the morning which is called “Tak Bat Thewo or Theworohana in full”. It’s the day to commemorate the day Lord Buddha coming down from Daowadueng to the human world. The ceremony starts from monks and novices praying in the temples in the early morning. Then, when the sun rises, it is presumably that the monks are coming down from the stairs of heaven and replicas of angels leading the walk of monks and novices in line to receive offerings and traditional food from the people. Sometimes, the music will be playing as if angels are playing it to see the Buddha off. Two of the food offerings which are symbols of this ceremony are a Thai dessert called Khao Tom Mat (bananas with sticky rice) and Khao Tom Luk Yone (similar to Khao Tom Mat but wrapped with banana leaf in a triangular shape with long handle at the top). . Apart from Tak Bat Thewo, there is a Kathin ceremony when Thai Buddhists will provide monk robes to the retreating monks. This ceremony will be arranged within a month after the End of Buddhist Lent Day. Also, temples often arrange sermon ceremony to deliver 13 sermons about Buddha’s biography. However, temples still can arrange to make an off-season offering of robes and other needs to monks too. This off-season offering ceremony is called “Tod Pha-Ba” and it does not have to take place within one month after the End of Buddhist Lent Day. . Translated by Somchan Thongpussa Complied by Supang Srisod . Reference: National Office of Buddhism https://www.onab.go.th/.../category/detail/id/73/iid/3404 . Office of Arts and Culture Phranakhon Rajabhat University http://arts.pnru.ac.th/th/