The year 2566 has already arrived in several countries, such as Thailand; why is that? The Western calendar is not used in this Buddhist nation, which follows its own calendar instead. The birth of the primary god determines this calendar, similar to how other calendars are.
Origin of the Buddhist calendar
This calendar has its beginnings in the year 543 BC, which corresponds to the birth of Buddha; hence, the first day of the year for Buddhists is February 3. In addition, the dates of the birth and death of the Buddha have been fixed for all people to be the same: February 15 and May 13, respectively.
They are a series of lunisolar calendars, which means that they show the time by taking into account the phases of the sun and the moon. These calendars are most often used in Southeast Asia, particularly in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. They are also used in Sri Lanka for religious and governmental events.
And despite the fact that they stem from the same place, each one has developed its own unique characteristics through time. For instance, in Thailand, the Buddhist word Epoch refers to a numerical year (also known as an era) that is used by both the conventional Thai lunisolar calendar and the modern Thai solar calendar.
The lunar calendar is used in Buddhism, and the religion’s holy days are honored each week as they occur. These Buddhist holy days, known as Wan wai phra chan (), occur four times during a lunar cycle: once on the new moon, once during the half moon, once during the full moon, and once again during the half moon.
This Buddhist rite is from the Theravada school and is practiced in countries all around the region, including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
The Buddhist holy days are a particularly popular time for Thai Buddhists to pay their respects at a temple and do acts of merit-making, even though most Thai Buddhists attend the temple at some point throughout the week. Additionally, the most significant Buddhist festival occurs with the full moon. The night before this day, the monks shave their heads in preparation for the day.
On Buddhist holy days, it is of utmost importance to adhere to the commandments and abstain from sinning since it is thought that sins would be judged more harshly than they would be on other days of the year. During the primary Buddhist festivals, which are significant religious holidays, the purchase or use of alcoholic beverages is forbidden.
The precepts of Buddhism are:
- You will not take any life
- You will not take what has not been given to you
- You will not have sexual misconduct
- No lies
- You will not ingest toxic substances that can cloud your mind
Undoubtedly, you will have picked up on some of these features while watching Thai Dramas, which leave that nation’s culture on display for the audience to see and reveal a fresh facet of Thai culture that fascinates us.