Khao Phansa is the first day of the Buddhist Lent. It is one of the most important religion events. Khao Phansa takes place on the day after the full moon of the eighth lunar month, wich is the day after Asanha Bucha Day and has a duration of 3 lunar months known as Phansa.
As opposed to what one might think monks can still eat (untill 12.00 as usual) during Buddhist Lent. During buddhist Lent monks stay at 1 temple to practice meditation and obtain the teachings of meditation. The monks are permitted to leave the temple, but must sleep at the same tempel every night during these 3 months. People make merit by giving donations to monks and the temple. On Khao Phansa you will mainly see candles and saffron robes offered.
Khao Phansa is a good time for young men older than 20 to become a monk as the number of years a man has been a monk is expressed by counting the number of Phansas he has been a monk. Young men become monks for spiritual training, to make merit for for themselves and their parents and it is believed that a man who has never been a monk can’t be considered an adult.
Little boy making merit with his mother in and for Wat Tha Sung, Uthai Thani.
The end of these 3 lunar months of Buddhist Lent are celebrated on Wan Oak Phansa in October.
Khao Phansa is a public holiday. As it is a religious holiday alcohol sale is prohibited in shops, bars and restaurants.