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Thailand Bans Alcohol Sales Today to Mark the End Of Buddhist Lent

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Thailand Bans Alcohol Sales Today to Mark the End Of Buddhist Lent

(CTN News) – Awk Pansa (exit Pansa) marks the final day of Buddhist Lent in Thailand. Alcohol sales are banned nationwide for 24 hours because it’s one of Thailand’s five major Buddhist holidays.

In celebration of the Buddhist Rains Retreat, monks and maechis are leaving their temples for the first time since July 14.

No alcohol day, public holidays to be observed next week

‘Pansa’ means retreat in Thai, and ‘Vassa’ means retreat in Pali. Theravada Buddhist practitioners all over southeast Asia observe Vassa. Depending on the Lunar calendar, the dates vary from year to year.

Lay Buddhists might give up smoking, drinking, or eating meat during Vassa. Due to its similarities to Christian Lent, despite Buddhism predating Christianity, it’s called Buddhist Lent. Awk Pansa falls on the 15th day of the 11th waxing moon, which is today.

In Thailand, alcohol isn’t sold anywhere except at duty-free shops at airports, according to the Alcohol Beverage Control Act (2008).

Today, anyone found selling alcohol in Thailand will be fined up to 10,000 baht, imprisoned for up to six months, or both.

Many independent shops in the kingdom still sell alcohol illegally to non-religious people today, despite the prospect of a fine. There’s no point in asking chains like 7-Eleven.

Alcohol is also banned in Thailand on Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, Asanha Bucha Day, and Khao Pansa (enter Pansa).

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