All Bangkok, Bangkok

This important Buddhist holy day celebrates the occasion when 1250 of the Lord Buddha's disciples spontaneously gathered to hear him preach. Ceremonies take place during the day at temples throughout the country, while at night, triple candlelight processions are staged around monastery chapels.

The King celebrates Magha Puja by attending the evening ceremony at the Chapel Royal in the Royal Temple Complex of the Emerald Buddha. You probably won't be able to enter this temple, but in the other temples of the complex people assemble to hear the abbot read the "Declaration of the Magha Puja" and the "Offering of flowers, candles and incense". At the conclusion of the ceremony, a pradaksina procession is made around the outside of the temple - a long banner of orange cloth is wound around the building as incense is burnt and prayers are sung.

Everyone who visits Bangkok will end up trailing round the 61-acre Grand Palace and there's no better time to go than when this festival is taking place.

Added by reck on September 19, 2005

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