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Asalha Puja & Khao Phansa

Asalha Puja (in Pali language) is one of the three most important festivals of Buddhism, also called the Dhamma Day, because on that day the anniversary is celebrated of the first sermon of the Teaching (the Dhamma) by the Buddha. Symbolicaly that first preaching is called  "the setting in motion of the Wheel of the Dhamma” (dhammacakkapavatana in Pali).

The first preaching was held by the Buddha at Sarnath in India, before the five ascetics who accompanied him in his search for Englightenment. They became his first disciples.

In The Buddhist Theravada tradition is assumed that the event happened on the full moon in the month Asalha (in June-July), from which the name of the festival day originated (puja means honouring, worshipping).

On the following day starts the period of three months which is called the rainy season (phansa in Thai; khao is the entrance, the start), the periode wherin the monks reside in the monasteries and temples (de so-called  rain retreat).

Yearly by Wat Dhammapateep in Mechelen the Asalha Puja and the Khao Phansa festival gare organized (see the Calendar or the Program of the festivals).

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