Asalha Puja for kids
Asalha Puja is a festival that marks the beginning of Buddha’s teachings. How will you be celebrating with your little one?
by Steven McKinnon, Mindful Mum, June 30th 2012
- What is Asalha Puja?
- The origins of Asalha Puja
- How to celebrate Asalha Puja with your child
- Thai-style creme caramel recipe
Asalha Puja (or Dharma Day) is a Buddhist festival which commemorates the beginning of Buddha’s teachings. In Thailand, it is a government holiday, and the sale of alcohol is illegal.
It is celebrated on the full moon day during the eighth lunar month, typically July.
In the early days of Buddhism, what is now recognised as the eighth lunar month (in the traditional Indian calendar) marked the beginning of the monsoon season.
During this time, the Buddha and his followers abandoned their nomadic lifestyle to seek shelter and meditate until the season passed, whereupon they would continue journeying and spread Buddha’s teachings.
Asalha Puja now marks the beginning of the rain season, and is a time for expressing gratitude to Buddha for his teachings.
Asalha Puja is typically celebrated by attending sermons, making donations to temples, and reading from the Buddhist scriptures.
If you’d like to mark the festival at home, why not let your child help you make a Thai-style creme caramel dessert, using our recipe below?
- 240 millilitres of coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 60 millilitres of maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C and lightly grease 4 small glass bowls.
- Beat the eggs for about a minute, then add the salt, sugar and vanilla essence. Mix until combined.
- Pour a small amount of the maple syrup into each of the 4 bowls, enough to cover the bottom. Add slightly more if you want, but not too much!
- Pour the egg mixture into each bowl, roughly three quarters full.
- Place the bowls onto a large-sided roasting pan, then pour some water around the pan until it reaches a quarter of the size of the bowls.
- Bake for half an hour, then serve, or refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. (To serve, upturn the glass bowls onto dessert plates; the mixture should come out easily, but you can run a knife along interior of each bowl if you have to.)
We at Mindful Mum would love to know more about Asalha Puja. If you have any favourite celebrations or traditions, feel free to let us know in the comments below!
Photography: Fayjo @Flickr