Vassa

Buddhist Lentrains retreatrainy seasonrainy seasonsvarsa.rain retreatrains retreats (Start of Buddhist LentWan Khao Phansa
The Vassa (vassa-, varṣa-, both "rain") is the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada practitioners.wikipedia
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Retreat (spiritual)

retreatretreatsspiritual retreat
The Vassa (vassa-, varṣa-, both "rain") is the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada practitioners.
They are considered essential in Buddhism, having been a common practice since the Vassa, or rainy season retreat, was established by the founder of Buddhism, Gotama Buddha.

Monastery

monasteriesmonasticmonastic community
For the duration of Vassa, monastics remain in one place, typically a monastery or temple grounds.
Buddhist monasteries, known as vihāra in Pali and Sanskrit, emerged sometime around the fourth century BCE from the practice of vassa, a retreat undertaken by Buddhist monastics during the South Asian wet season.

Theravada

Theravada BuddhismTheravādaTheravada Buddhist
The Vassa (vassa-, varṣa-, both "rain") is the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada practitioners.
In Thailand and Myanmar, young men typically ordain for the retreat during Vassa, the three-month monsoon season, though shorter or longer periods of ordination are not rare.

Uposatha

observance daysUposatha CeremonyBuddhist Sabbath
Vassa begins on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month, which is the day after Asalha Puja or Asalha Uposatha ("Dhamma day").
All major Burmese Buddhist holidays occur on Uposathas, namely Thingyan, the beginning of Vassa (beginning in the full moon of Waso, around July, to the full moon of Thadingyut, around October).

Kathina

KathinKathin ChibardanKathin Festival
Vassa is followed by Kathina, a festival in which the laity expresses gratitude to monks.
Kathina is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa, the three-month rainy season retreat for Theravada Buddhists in Bangladesh (known as Kaṭhina Cībar Dān), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Pavarana

PravaranaPavāraṇa DayPravāraṇa
It ends on Pavarana, when all monastics come before the sangha and atone for any offense that might have been committed during Vassa.
It marks the end of the 3 lunar months of Vassa, sometimes called "Buddhist Lent."

Burmese calendar

MEtraditional Burmese calendarBurmese month
Taking place during the wet season, Vassa lasts for three lunar months, usually from July (the Burmese month of Waso, ) to October (the Burmese month of Thadingyut ).

Wan Ok Phansa

Wan Awk PansaBuddhist Lent festivalend of Buddhist Lent
Wan Ok Phansa (literally "day of going out of Vassa", ออก in Thai meaning exit or leave) is the last day of the Thai-Lao observance of Vassa.

Asalha Puja

Asanha PujaEsala Full Moon Poya DayEsala Poya
Vassa begins on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month, which is the day after Asalha Puja or Asalha Uposatha ("Dhamma day").
The following day is known in Thailand as วันเข้าพรรษา Wan Khao Phansa; it is the first day of พรรษา vassa, the Theravada rains retreat.

Gautama Buddha

BuddhaSakyamuniShakyamuni
The Vassa tradition predates the time of Gautama Buddha.
This continued throughout the year, except during the four months of the Vassa rainy season when ascetics of all religions rarely traveled.

Ango

angōkesseisummer monastic retreat

Wet season

rainy seasonmonsoon seasonwet
Taking place during the wet season, Vassa lasts for three lunar months, usually from July (the Burmese month of Waso, ) to October (the Burmese month of Thadingyut ).

Lunar month

synodic monthsidereal monthanomalistic month
Taking place during the wet season, Vassa lasts for three lunar months, usually from July (the Burmese month of Waso, ) to October (the Burmese month of Thadingyut ).

Lent

LentenLenten seasonOculi
In English, Vassa is often glossed as Rains Retreat or Buddhist Lent, the latter by analogy to the Christian Lent (which Vassa predates by at least five centuries).

Meditation

meditativemeditatemeditating
In some monasteries, monks dedicate the Vassa to intensive meditation.

Upasampada

ordinationfully ordainedordain as monks
Commonly, the number of years a monk has spent in monastic life is expressed by counting the number of vassas (or rains) since ordination.

Mahayana

Mahayana BuddhismMahāyānaMahayana Buddhist
Most Mahayana Buddhists do not observe Vassa, though Vietnamese Thiền and Korean Seon monastics observe an equivalent retreat of three months of intensive practice in one location, a practice also observed in Tibetan Buddhism.

Vietnamese Thiền

ThiềnVietnamese ZenThien
Most Mahayana Buddhists do not observe Vassa, though Vietnamese Thiền and Korean Seon monastics observe an equivalent retreat of three months of intensive practice in one location, a practice also observed in Tibetan Buddhism.

Korean Seon

SeonSeon BuddhismKorean Zen
Most Mahayana Buddhists do not observe Vassa, though Vietnamese Thiền and Korean Seon monastics observe an equivalent retreat of three months of intensive practice in one location, a practice also observed in Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan BuddhistTibetanTibetan Buddhists
Most Mahayana Buddhists do not observe Vassa, though Vietnamese Thiền and Korean Seon monastics observe an equivalent retreat of three months of intensive practice in one location, a practice also observed in Tibetan Buddhism.

Sangha

SamghasanghasSaṅgha
It ends on Pavarana, when all monastics come before the sangha and atone for any offense that might have been committed during Vassa.

Upāsaka and Upāsikā

Upasakaupāsakaupasika
Vassa is followed by Kathina, a festival in which the laity expresses gratitude to monks.

Śramaṇa

SramanaShramanaSramanic
It was a long-standing custom for mendicant ascetics in India not to travel during the rainy season as they may unintentionally harm crops, insects or even themselves during their travels.