Thailand bans alcohol sales nationwide for Visakha Bucha Day

Immigration and various government offices will be closed at midnight tomorrow as Thailand observes Visakha Bucha Day, a significant Buddhist holiday. As Thailand’s holy occasion, the sale of alcohol is banned nationwide for the entire day.

This restriction begins at midnight tomorrow and continues until midnight on Wednesday, May 22, affecting all shops, bars, and restaurants. The only exception is duty-free shops at airports.

Visakha Bucha Day marks the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of Gautama Buddha. Buddhists worldwide commemorate these three events on the full moon of the sixth lunar month.

Devout Buddhists will start the day by visiting temples to make merit and listen to sermons on the teachings of Buddha.

Candle-lit processions will occur at major temples across Thailand after sunset. During these processions, known as wiang tian participants walk clockwise three times around the principal chapel, holding three incense sticks, a lighted candle, and lotus buds.

The air during these processions is filled with the scent of burning incense and candle smoke as the faithful engage in this sacred celebration.

Government, Immigration, Employment Office, Land Transport, and District Offices, will be closed. Although main bank branches will also be closed, any branches located within shopping centres will remain open.

Royal Thai Police and Tourist Police stations will continue to function, and some local consulates will be available to assist their citizens.

The prohibition on alcohol sales during Visakha Bucha Day is part of a broader regulation that includes other significant religious days such as Makha Bucha, Asarnha Bucha Day, Khao Pansa, and Wan Org Pansa.

The sale of alcohol is prohibited across the country, except at duty-free shops at the airport.

Visakha Bucha Day is a time for reflection and reverence, with millions of Buddhists participating in ceremonies and rituals to honour the teachings of Buddha. The day’s events highlight the spiritual and cultural significance of Buddhism in Thailand, fostering a sense of community and devotion among its practitioners.

Residents and visitors alike are reminded to plan accordingly, given the closures and restrictions in place. Visakha Bucha Day remains one of the most pivotal days in the Buddhist calendar, celebrated with deep reverence and solemnity across Thailand, reported Phuket News.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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