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People staying in Koh Samui hotels in July will find that the island's Buddhist community is preparing for one of its biggest festivals.

On July 19th, the period of Buddhist Lent - known as Khao Phansa - will begin.

For three months, the monks will be confined to their temple complexes and will focus on meditation and following the teachings of Buddha.

According to Buddhist history, this practice began during the rainy season to prevent monks from damaging rice crops or treading on any insects.

The tradition is still observed in monasteries all over the country, so people staying in any Thailand hotels will be able to watch the ceremonies associated with the start of Khao Phansa.

Buddhist temples up and down the nation hold celebrations to mark the beginning of Khao Phansa, with some regions holding colourful parades to signify the start of this Lent period.

Holidaymakers who want to witness the spectacle will find that there are plenty of Buddhist temples on Koh Samui to visit.

Among them are Wat Phra Yai - home to a large seated golden Buddha statue - Wat Khun Aram - which houses the mummified remains of a Buddhist monk - and Wat Sumret, a temple that boasts a wide range of images of the peaceful deity.

Posted by Charlotte Springer

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