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Visakha Bucha Day in Thailand
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Marked by Buddhist faithful throughout the world, Visakha Bucha commemorates the life, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha some 2500 years ago. This year the holiday, which is sometimes known simply as Buddha’s birthday, fell on May 20. Every year on the night of Visakha Bucha Day it is tradition among local Buddhists to walk in an 11 km pilgrimage to Doi Suthep mountain to reach Phra That Doi Suthep temple. The journey takes several hours and a good deal of endurance, but it’s very popular and the walk is more like a parade. Upon arrival, the pilgrims walk three times around the temple’s main stupa before offering alms to the monks at sunrise.

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Visakha Bucha Day 02
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Thousand of people walk to Doi Suthep temple on the eve of Visakha Bucha.

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Visakha Bucha Day 03
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

A Buddhist monk is blesses devotees with water as they walk on the 11 km route from Chiang Mai town to Doi Suthep mountain.

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Visakha Bucha Day 04
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Devotees climb the stairs to reach the funicular at Doi Suthep temple.

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Visakha Bucha Day 08
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Young devotees perform the Wian Tian at Doi Suthep temple, walking around the main shrine holding a candle, three incense sticks and a lotus bud.

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Visakha Bucha Day 11
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Devotees perform the Wian Tian at Doi Suthep temple, walking around the main shrine holding a candle, three incense sticks and a lotus bud.

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Visakha Bucha Day 10
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Devotees perform the Wian Tian at Doi Suthep temple, walking around the main shrine holding a candle, three incense sticks and a lotus bud.

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Visakha Bucha Day 09
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Young buddhist monks prepare the lotus flowers offered at the entrance of the Doi Suthep Temple.

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Visakha Bucha Day 01
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Devotees offer candles and incense while praying at Doi Suthep temple.

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Visakha Bucha Day 05
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Some devotees sleep around the temple waiting for sunrise when monks walk out on the street to get alms.

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Visakha Bucha Day 12
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

The lights of Chiang Mai city from the terrace of Doi Suthep temple.

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Visakha Bucha Day 06
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

Devotees walk back from the temple to Chiang Mai late at night.

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Visakha Bucha Day 07
Chiang Mai
By vincenzo floramo
20 May 2016

At sunrise monks walked down the 300 stairs flanked by green trees and guarded by 16th-century Naga (snake) figures.
Devotees offer alms and are blessed by the monks.

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thailand lanterns 03
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. At the stroke of midnight people release the floating lanterns into the air, and with them let go of their burdens and worries.

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thailand lanterns 02
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. Buddhist monks release floating lanterns to welcome the New Year 2559 of the Buddhist calendar (2016).

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thailand lanterns 04
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. Buddhist monk listens to the New Year's Eve sermon.

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thailand lanterns 05
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. Monk listens to the New Year's Eve sermon.

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thailand lanterns 06
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. Buddhist monks listen to the New Year's Eve sermon in English.

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thailand lanterns 07
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. At the stroke of midnight young monks release the floating lanterns into the air, the wishes and blessings are written on the paper.

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thailand lanterns 09
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
31 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. New Year's Eve. At the stroke of midnight a tourist blows the candle that she lit the floating lantern with.

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thailand lanterns 01
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
30 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao Temple in Chiang Mai. Buddhist monks release floating lanterns to welcome the New Year 2559 of the Buddhist calendar (2016).

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thailand lanterns 08
Chiang Mai
By Gloria Kurnik
30 Dec 2015

Wat Phan Tao temple in Chiang Mai. Buddhists Monks meditate during the New Year's Eve sermon.