February 2: Magha Puja Day
Magha Puja, or Sangha, Day commemorates two events. The first was within 10 months of the Buddha’s enlightenment, and occurred on the full moon of the third lunar month. 1,250 monks who had become enlightened in that short time period, assembled spontaneously to pay respects to the Buddha. The Buddha delivered a discourse in which he asked the monks to do good, to abstain from bad action, and to purify the mind. On this same day near the end of the Buddha’s life, he declared that he would pass away in three months.
Laity come to Buddhangkura in Olympia on this day to give alms to the monks, and to circumambulate the temple with the monks three times, signifying the Three Jewels (the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha) holding lighted candles, flowers, and incense.
In Thailand, Magha Puja Day is a national holiday.