Booze free weekend as Thailand observes the Buddhist Holidays

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Bars and restaurants across Thailand will be banned from selling alcohol this Saturday and Sunday (July 8-9) as the nation marks the Buddhist holidays Asarnha Bucha Day and Khao Phansa (Buddhist Lent)

Asarnha Bucha Day and the beginning of Buddhist Lent have been mandated “National No Alcohol Days” since 2009 by an order that also banned the sale of alcohol on the major Buddhist holidays Makha Bucha Day and Visakha Bucha Day.

Asarnha Bucha day is the full-moon day of the eighth lunar month, commemorating the Buddha’s first sermon to his first five disciples after attaining Enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago.

As part of making merit to honour the day, Buddhists attend evening candlelit processions called wien tien at temples across the country. Visitors are welcome to respectfully join the event.

Buddhist Lent day, or Khao Phansa Day, is the start of a period of three lunar months during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in one particular place or temple and undertake deep meditation.

As Asarnha Bucha this year falls on a Saturday, Monday (July 10) will be the substitution day public holiday for religious holiday, and as such most government offices will be closed on Monday, including the Immigration Offices, the Employment Offices, the Land Transport Offices and the District Offices.

All main bank branches will be closed, but many branches in shopping centres will remain open. All Royal Thai Police and Tourist Police stations will remain open and some local consulates will be open to serve their respective citizens.

Alcohol sales will be banned on Saturday and Sunday only. Monday will be not affected.

Under an announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office on January 22, 2015, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on five specific Buddhist religious days: Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, Asarnha Bucha Day, Khao Pansa and Wan Org Pansa days.

Alcohol sales is prohibited across the country on these days, except at duty-free shops at the airport. – Phuket News.

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