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Southern Thai’s leave the island and flock home for Auk Phansa

You may have noticed that a lot of the Thai residents of Koh Samui have done a disappearing act and returned to their home towns. This is not because they just simply got fed up of working in Samui, it is because of a southern Thai tradition called Auk Phansa.

Auk Phansa marks the end of three month period call khao phansa, when the Buddhist monks are not permitted to travel from place to place and must stay at a designated temple. Legend has is that this tradition came into existence when the farmers and villager began to complain that when the monks traveled during the rainy season  they trampled on the rice fields and crops of farmers. When the Buddha heard of the complaints he saw the truth in them and also realized that while travelling during the rainy season monks were more liable to kill small animals such as earthworms and field rats (in Buddhism kill animals even small is conceived a sin)accordingly he saw it fit that for three month of rainy season monks should abstain from travelling and stay stationary at one temple . During this time the monks should lean and practice religion only after the month were over should the monks again be permitted to travel thus giving birth to the khao and auk phansa tradition the Auk phansa holiday begins on the first day of full moon of the lunar month. Devout Buddhists meet to make merit by giving dry food and other necessities to monks and by listening to sermons being preached. At this time each person or family goes to the temple near their home thus also providing the chance for socializing. Buddhists will also go temple on other important Buddhist holiday and on wan-phra (Buddhist holy day) to make merit these occasions provide a good opportunity for those interested to observe the local Thai people and their ways of life.

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