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Makha Bucha Day – Why does Thailand have a public holiday?

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Makha Bucha Day – Why does Thailand have a public holiday? | The Thaiger

Buddhist days make up a number of the public holidays on the Thai calendar, among them is Makha Bucha Day.

The Buddhist calendar traditionally uses dates based on the movement of the moon, and the third lunar month is known in Thai as ‘makha’.

The term ‘makha’ comes from the word ‘Magha’ in Pali, the sacred language of the religious texts of the Theravada strand of Buddhism most widely practised in Thailand.

‘Bucha’ is a Thai word – once again deriving from the Pali language, means ‘to venerate’ or ‘to honour’.

So Makha Bucha is taken to refer to a day intended for honouring the third lunar month and, in particular, the Buddha and the teachings that he delivered on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month.

Makha Bucha Day is celebrated in other countries including Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. It first came to be celebrated in modern-day Thailand during the reign of King Rama IV, first observed only in the grounds of the royal palace and later becoming more widely recognised nationally and finally introduced as a Thai public holiday.

But the origins of Makha Bucha Day itself lies much further back, 45 years before the beginning of the Buddhist era and nine months after the Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment. Then, on the full moon day of the third lunar month (now known as Makha Bucha Day), Buddhists believe that a meeting between the Buddha and his disciplines became a momentous and historic occasion.

Including the fact that it already fell on the auspicious occasion of a full moon, the meeting is said to have taken on four remarkable characteristics that are still recounted in Buddhist teaching today. These four elements to the gathering have also given Makha Bucha Day its nickname of the Fourfold Assembly Day.

Although Thailand has no official state religion, Theravada Buddhism is by far the majority faith observed by the Thai population, and so significant Buddhist occasions like Makha Bucha Day loom heavy in the Thai consciousness and figure prominently on the country’s calendar. Makha Bucha Day is a public holiday across Thailand, and the occasion is observed in a number of way by lay Buddhists in local communities.

As is common on all manner of Buddhist holidays in Thailand, it is common for Thai Buddhists to visit their local temple to make merit on Makha Bucha Day. While at the temple, they might also listen to Buddhist teachings, give alms to monks, recite Buddhist scriptures, and participate in the evening candlelight processions around the ordination hall that are held by many temples.

If you want to get your own insight into local celebrations of Makha Bucha Day in Thailand, simply stop by the local temple closest to wherever you are staying in Bangkok or elsewhere. Most will be happy to welcome inquisitive foreigners and to let you observe, or even participate, in processions and other activities to mark the holiday.

Makha Bucha Day - Why does Thailand have a public holiday? | News by The Thaiger



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  1. Avatar

    JP

    February 23, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Thailand has no state religion per se, but it is a requirement for the King to be buddhist. This clearly indicates the legally non formal implication of buddhism being considered a state religion.

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Thai Life

Heavier traffic violation penalties being discussed by police

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Heavier traffic violation penalties being discussed by police | The Thaiger

Heavier penalties for drink-drivers and repeat offenders on Thai roads are under scission between traffic police and other agencies.

Maj-General Ekkarak Limsangkatt, a member of the committee reviewing of traffic-law enforcement, is calling for harsher punishments in line with the Japanese model that penalises both the drink-driver and any passenger who “abetted the wrongdoing.”

Ekkarak was speaking after a meeting at the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok.

Among proposals discussed were the issuing of traffic tickets and harsher sentences for repeat offenders based on evidence gathered by Police Ticket Management over the last three years.

The PTM collates information on traffic offences and provides recommendations that enhance road safety measures.

Yesterday’s meeting was told that 11.7 million traffic tickets had been issued in 2018, a 39 per cent rise on the 8.6 million the year before.

One was a driver of a cargo truck who received no less than 144 tickets in a single year, for repeatedly speeding and failing to stay in the slow lane reserved for trucks. He was caught by traffic cameras.

A total of 1,507 drink-driving repeat offenders were arrested in the past four years, the meeting was told.

Ekkarak said the findings showed drivers were insufficiently afraid of the law and the consequences of breaking it. He said a legal amendment to the 1979 Land Traffic Act, which should soon be in effect, would introduce a points system to deter motorists from re-offending.

He said such a points system would not have worked in the past because all drivers’ licences were paper-based, meaning the police and Department of Land Transport could not cooperate to catch offenders.

“This new law will require the two agencies to link databases and online information so the driving-licence points system is implemented effectively and practically,” he said. (The Thaiger thought this had already been done!)

The meeting also heard a proposal that motorists with multiple tickets be allowed to pay them off in a lump sum for a discount, in order to clear the backlog of unpaid tickets.

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Entertainment

Sold over 2.6 million copies and it’s not even released. Map of the Soul, BTS.

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Sold over 2.6 million copies and it’s not even released. Map of the Soul, BTS. | The Thaiger
The hottest selling album. BTS. Map of the Soul - Persona'

The new album Map of the Soul: Persona has already sold 2,685,030 copies. That was in just four days up to March 17.

And it’s not even being released until April 12.

It also came to light that the same band had the second and third best selling albums in the world for 2018, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

The Greatest Showman’ Soundtrack Edges Out BTS, Lady Gaga for Best-Selling Album of 2018.

It would be an understatement to say South Korea’s BTS’s comeback Album is highly anticipated. The K-pop heavyweights just broke their own record for preorders with their upcoming album.

The yet-to-be-released EP currently sits at No. 1 on Amazon’s CD & Vinyl Best Sellers. At this stage there’s no music, no cover, no music videos. Just anticipation.

Earlier this month, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry revealed that BTS snagged the second and third spot on last year’s best-selling albums around the globe. Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer sold 2.3 million and 2.7 million units, respectively. Both albums hit the top of the Billboard 200 in 2018.

The April 13 comeback performance won’t happen in South Korea this time. It will happen on their biggest stage yet: Saturday Night Live.
Sold over 2.6 million copies and it's not even released. Map of the Soul, BTS. | News by The Thaiger

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Thai Life

Mummy makeovers rising trend in medical tourism market

The Thaiger

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Mummy makeovers rising trend in medical tourism market | The Thaiger

Mummy makeovers in Thailand? You may not have heard about this phenomenon but it’s a real thing in the medical tourism market.

Thanks to Thailand’s burgeoning medical tourism sector, more and more women are going under the knife to regain their pre-pregnancy stomach. Opting for lavish trips to South East Asia, female patients are travelling to Thailand for numerous treatments as part of this ‘mummy makeover’.

From tummy tucks and breast augmentation to liposuction, new mums will not stop at anything to achieve the ultimate look. Darren Lyons from MyMediTravel explains…

“Due to sagging and drooping post-pregnancy, many ladies are searching for top-quality surgeons alongside first-rate medical care in an exotic destination.”

“Thailand ticks all the medical tourism boxes with patients spending in excess of $10,000 on numerous procedures as part of this emerging mummy makeover craze. As a result, it gives women greater confidence and the ability to obtain their previous figure.”

There are various reasons why mummy makeovers in Thailand are proving popular. If exercise and diet have worked fighting the flab, excess skin can then be a major issue especially around the abdomen and breast area.

Together with stretch marks, pregnancy as well as labor can have a profound effect on a woman’s shape. Whether it’s a natural or Caesarean birth, many choose to undergo extensive procedures to obtain their pre-baby appearance. 

Delving a little deeper reveals interesting information about what mummy’s actually want. Mum’s certainly the word as surgeons claim women mainly opt for breast lifts with implants or just a simple breast lift to regain their former look before giving birth.

Tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), labiaplasty, buttock reshaping, varicose vein removal and transferal of fat from the abdomen to the face already feature on a growing list of mummy makeover demands. Mum’s are even requesting skin and laser peels to restore their previous complexion which is usually lost via hormonal changes during pregnancy.

But, before any procedure is undertaken, patients are normally advised to wait six months after giving birth.

One of the main reasons is that abdominal tissues are far too relaxed immediately after birth to achieve any long-lasting results. Mum’s are advised to wait for this specific time period so that tissues can return to as normal condition as possible, leading to better results. 

As with every invasive treatment, mummy makeovers carry certain issues such as being emotionally drained, whilst others may experience bruising and scarring. In addition, the removal of excess skin may lead to surgeons requiring to create a new belly button altogether.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped sharp interest from overseas patients. In fact, there has been growing demand among Australasian companies for mummy makeovers with more than a 120% increase in demand.

Mummy makeovers are here to stay and has not dampened the spirits of post-baby mums with cost-effective treatments, high standards of medical care and luxury facilities taking precedence. Despite A-list celebs flaunting their post-pregnancy figures, this yearning for the ideal pre-pregnancy body is a worthwhile makeover that many women are willing to pay for.

Mummy makeovers rising trend in medical tourism market | News by The Thaiger

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