Full Moon Day of Waso in Myanmar is a public holiday that marks the commencement of “Buddhist Lent”, which lasts for three full months during the rainy season. It commemorates several things: the first sermon delivered by Buddha, the day of his conception, and the first day of his quest after enlightenment. All three of these things are thought to have occurred on the same day of the year.
|2020||3 Aug||Mon||Full Moon Day of Waso|
|2021||23 Jul||Fri||Full Moon Day of Waso|
|2022||13 Jul||Wed||Full Moon Day of Waso|
|2023||1 Aug||Tue||Full Moon Day of Waso|
|2024||20 Jul to 22 Jul||Sat to Mon||Full Moon Day of Waso|
There are numerous traditions and practices associated with Full Moon Day of Waso. Mostly, there are customs that people practice during the whole of Buddhist Lent that begin on this day. It is the entrance into a new season, both as to weather and on the Buddhist “spiritual calendar”.
First, devotees will bring all manner of offerings to monks who are retreating into their pagodas on this day for a three-month long time of mediation and religious exercises. They may bring food, clothes, medicine, money, or anything useful to the monks.
Next, Full Moon Day of Waso begins a time when people of older and younger generations spend time together. The elderly often fast and prepare offerings, while the young get ready for dancing and cultural performances. But everyone tries to display a spirit of unity.
Third, this is a time of flowers. Many men and women will wander into the woods and pick wildflowers to offer to Buddha.
Fourth, there is a traditional taboo on weddings beginning on Full Moon Day of Waso, which means just before and just after Buddhist Lent, there are more weddings going on than usual.
Fourth, finally, and above all, Full Moon Day of Waso is a time to meditate and engage in good deeds to earn religious merit.