Asalha Puja is one of the Buddhist Holy Days in Thailand. It falls on the full moon day of Asalha month, the 8th lunar of the year this festival may be called ? The First Sermon Festival?When an intercalary month is added as the extra 8th month, the year will have two eighth months. Then this day falls on the full moon day of the latter 8th lunar month. Usually, Asalha Puja Day correspond to the full moon day in the month of July.
Asalha Puja Day has been observed in Thailand from B.E. 2501 or C.E. 1958. In that, the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council, with the approval of the king of Thailand, declared that day as Asalha Puja Day.
On the full moon day of Asalha month, the Lord Buddha preached his first sermon to the Five Ascetics. One of them bye the name of Kondanna, attained to insight into the Truth of life and requested the Buddha to ordain him as a Bhikkhu.
The full moon day of the Asalha month is another important event in Buddhism for the following reasons.
1. The Buddha gave the first sermon.
2. The Buddha acquired the first disciple as witness his Enlightenment.
3. The Triple Gem of the Sangha first appeared in the world.
Asalha Puja Day, Thai Buddhist make merit, give food to monks
and novices, give alms to the poor, listen to sermons at the monasteries and also practice the Dhamma by avoding evil, doing good and purifying the mind of all evil thoughts.