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12 July 2020

Thai Traditional Festivals Series — Floral Ceremony for Buddhist Lent

Thailand: Thai Traditional Festivals – Floral Offerings for Buddhist Lent, 12 July 2020. Images from Thai Stamp Museum.

Technical Specifications:

1192. ตราไปรษณียากรชุดประเพณีไทย
วันแรกจำหน่าย​​: 12 กรกฎาคม 2563
ความมุ่งหมาย ​​: เพื่อเป็นการเผยแพร่ประเพณีของไทยให้เป็นที่แพร่หลาย
ชนิดราคา​​: 3.00 บาท (4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์​​: แบบละ 400,000 ดวง
ขนาด​​​: 30 x 48 มม. (แนวตั้ง) และ 48 x 30 มม. (แนวนอน)
ภาพ​​​: ประเพณีตักบาตรดอกไม้ ซึ่งเป็นประเพณีที่จัดขึ้นเป็นประจำทุกปีในช่วงเทศกาลเข้าพรรษา ที่วัดพระพุทธบาทราชวรมหาวิหาร จังหวัดสระบุรี ได้รับความอนุเคราะห์ ภาพจากการท่องเที่ยวแห่งประเทศไทย
ผู้ออกแบบ​​: ว่าที่ ร.ท. ปฏิพล ซอกิ่ง (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์​​: ทีบีเอสพี จำกัด (มหาชน)
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี​​: ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น​: 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย​: 24.00 บาท

1192. Badge to post office. Thai tradition set.
First date: July 12, 2563 (2020)
Aim: To promote Thai tradition widespread.
Price type: 3.00 baht (4 designs)
Number of printing: 400,000 copies each.
Size: 30 x 48 mm (Vertical) and 48 x 30 mm (horizontal)
Photo: A flower offering tradition which is a tradition that is held annually during the Buddhist Lent Festival at Wat Phra Phutthabat, Royal Mahawihan, Saraburi province. Courtesy of Thailand’s tourism.
Designer: At the school. T.T. Pipol Sung (Thai Post Office Co Ltd)
Printer: TBSP Public Company Limited
How to print and color: Lithographi – Multi Colour
Number of stamps in the sheet: 10 stamps
First day cover price: 24.00 baht.

Tak Bat Dok Mai Ceremony is considered as a main tradition function in Phra Phutthabat district. It is held at the start of the annual three-month Buddhist Lent. During the ceremony, people give alms to monks, and offer candles for the Buddhist Lent to Phra Phutthabat temple. Finally, they offer white or yellow flowers to the monks in the late evening.

Wat Phra Phutthabat (วัดพระพุทธบาท) is a Buddhist temple in Saraburi, Thailand. It is among the oldest Buddhist temples in Thailand. Its name means “temple of Buddha’s footprint”, because it contains a natural depression believed to be a footprint of the Buddha.

Phra Phutthabat temple was built in 1624 (B.E. 2168) by King Songtham of Ayutthaya, after a hunter named Pram Bun found a large depression in the stone, resembling a huge footprint, near Suwan Banpot Hill or Satchaphanthakhiri Hill. The hunter reported his find to the king, who ordered workers to build a temporary mondop to cover the footprint; this later became the temple.

The Holy Footprint Festival is held at the temple twice a year, usually in February and March. During this festival many Buddhist worshippers and tourists visit the temple to worship the Buddha’s footprint and participate in activities at the temple entrance.

The size of the footprint is about 53 cm (21 inches) wide, 152 cm (five feet) long, and 28 cm (11 inches) deep. The footprint is covered by a decorated golden case. Inside the case the footprint is covered with layers of gold leaf, coins and banknotes thrown by worshipers and visitors.

The Vassa (Pali: vassa-, Sanskrit: varṣa-, both “rain”) is the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada practitioners. Taking place during the wet season, Vassa lasts for three lunar months, usually from July (the Burmese month of Waso, ဝါဆို) to October (the Burmese month of Thadingyut သီတင်းကျွတ်).

In English, Vassa is often glossed as Rains Retreat or Buddhist Lent, the latter by analogy to the Christian Lent (which Vassa predates by at least five centuries).

For the duration of Vassa, monastics remain in one place, typically a monastery or temple grounds.[4][5] In some monasteries, monks dedicate the Vassa to intensive meditation. Some Buddhist lay people choose to observe Vassa by adopting more ascetic practices, such as giving up meat, alcohol, or smoking. While Vassa is sometimes casually called “Buddhist Lent”, others object to this terminology. Commonly, the number of years a monk has spent in monastic life is expressed by counting the number of vassas (or rains) since ordination.

Most Mahayana Buddhists do not observe Vassa, though Vietnamese Thiền and Korean Seon monastics observe an equivalent retreat of three months of intensive practice in one location, a practice also observed in Tibetan Buddhism.

Vassa begins on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month, which is the day after Asalha Puja or Asalha Uposatha (“Dhamma day”). It ends on Pavarana, when all monastics come before the sangha and atone for any offense that might have been committed during Vassa.

Vassa is followed by Kathina, a festival in which the laity expresses gratitude to monks. Lay Buddhists bring donations to temples, especially new robes for the monks.

The Vassa tradition predates the time of Gautama Buddha. It was a long-standing custom for mendicant ascetics in India not to travel during the rainy season as they may unintentionally harm crops, insects or even themselves during their travels. Many Buddhist ascetics live in regions which lack a rainy season. Consequently, there are places where Vassa may not be typically observed.


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