PHUKET: A nationwide ban on the sale and purchase of alcohol is in effect today, Makha Bucha Day, one of the four annual religious holidays in Thailand.
“Alcohol is banned in Phuket and across the country out of respect for the holy day,” Peerayuth Karajedee, Deputy Commander of Phuket Provincial Police, told the Phuket Gazette
“We have sent out a letter to inform night entertainment business operators of the ban. It will be in effective until sunrise tomorrow,” Col Peerayuth said.
Anyone found breaking the law can receive a prison sentence of up to six months, a 10,000-baht fine, or both, he explained.
“We believe Thai people, alcohol retailers and all the night entertainment operators know that the sale and purchase of alcohol is prohibited on this special day – we see no need to send out extra officers to enforce the ban,” he said.
Makha Bucha Day marks the significant day nine months after the Buddha’s enlightenment when 1,250 disciples arrived, unplanned, to meet him. The Buddha ordained them and passed to them the main precepts of Buddhism: to abstain from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind.
Many Buddhists in Thailand will be making merit today and following the five Buddhist precepts for laymen, one of which is to abstain from alcohol.