Theo Courant


Daily chronicles of cultural information, tips and tricks for travelers in South East Asia: Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.


Makha Bucha: a traditional celebration and a super moon

Makha Bucha is this year on Tuesday, February 19th, a special day for Buddhists and astronomers as it is an opportunity to see a great moon.

Super Moon

The moment is rare. On the evening of February 19, the Earth and the moon will be very close. The average distance between the Earth and the moon is 384,400 km, the evening of Makha Bucha, the distance will be 356,836 km, a difference of 27564 km. The Moon will appear much bigger, about 7% and its brightness will increase by 16%.

This astronomical event has a particular resonance in many religions.

Makha Bucha

Makha Bucha is originally a solemn moment part of the genesis of Buddhism. The celebration always takes place on the full moon day of the third month of the lunar calendar. This year, Makha Bucha falls on Tuesday, February 19th.
Celebration is not just a religious event but also an important moment for families. Indeed, the tradition is that one goes to the temple to thank the teaching of the revered. Like many Buddhist religious festivals, this one comes with obligations. For Makha Bucha, we must respect the Lab Sin, respecting 5 essential precepts:

  • do not kill,
  • forbidden to steal,
  • it is forbidden to deceive his or her spouse,
  • do not lie,
  • Alcohol is prohibited. It is therefore difficult to find shops selling alcohol during this day.

Makha Bucha is, in a way, a day of merit where one must honor these precepts. To do this, many temples will open sooner or later.


Where to celebrate Makha Bucha?

There will be many temples open for the occasion, big and small. The celebration allows to see a very photogenic ritual: the faithful turn around the temples with incense, candles and water lily. This is a magical and unique moment to discover for the uninitiated. In Bangkok, 4 places are to be favored:    

  • Wat Saket
  • Wat Benchamabophit or the marble temple
  • Temple of the Golden Buddha, Wat Traimit
  • Wat Yannawa (Sathorn)
  • In the suburbs of Bangkok: Putthamamonthon site


Putthamamonthon site is located on the outskirts of Bangkok, in the direction of Nakon Pathon. The site of Putthamamonthon is considered the world center of Buddhism. The place is apart. Indeed, it is a very large park where you can see a very large statue of the Buddha. Religious ceremonies always take place all around.


Center map


Makha Bucha is a special day in the Thai calendar, Administrations
and schools are closed.
The sale of alcohol will be banned on February 19th.

This post is also available in: frFrançais

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