If you happened to be near Soi Bangla this morning you would have seen large crowds of people lining the street. Bangla Road is no stranger to crowds but today was something special. People headed there from 6am to make merit for Asarnha Bucha Day, the start of Buddhist Lent. Our Thai staff were also there with offerings of food for the monks. Tomorrow is Khao Phansa, Buddhist Lent Day. For the next 3 months the monks will stay every night at a particular temple to study and meditate.
As with all Buddhist holidays in Thailand there is an alcohol sales ban in place for today and tomorrow. Today (Friday 11 July) and Monday 14 July are public holidays, so banks and government offices will be closed but shopping malls (as well as banks inside the malls) will remain open.
Today also marks the first day of the 6th annual Kathu Street Culture Festival (also known as the Walking Street Festival). The festival will run from 11-13 July near the Kathu Shrine fresh market from 5.30pm onward. The Street Culture Festival is always popular and if last year’s festival is anything to go by, there will be plenty of delicious food and bargains to be found, as well as local performances and stalls showcasing Kathu’s heritage.