Magha Puja recipes are prepared on the special day of Magha Puja, also known as Sangha Day, or Makha Bucha, an important Buddhist religious festival. It is celebrated every year in February by Thai Buddhists. A public holiday in Thailand, the day is marked by ceremonial prayers, offerings of food in the temples, to the monks and to the poor and circumambulating the main chapel or Pagoda in a temple in homage to Lord Buddha.
Traditional Magha Puja Dishes and Food Menu
The recipes for the occasion are specifically designed to prepare food which can be consumed at home, offered in the temple to the monks as well as offered to the poor. Traditionally, delectable Thai foods were, and still are, an important part of the menu. While some believe that it is a day to observe total vegetarianism, some prepare elaborate meat dishes. Mostly, however, everyday food like barbeque fish, rice and simple desserts are prepared at home and are almost always a part of the Magha Puja menu and Magha Puja recipes.
Significance of Magha Puja Food and Dishes
Since the day is celebrated to venerate Buddha and his teachings, the food prepared is simple. According to Buddha's teachings, "Moderation in food" is an important practice and this is the basis of Magha Puja preparations, their ingredients and methods of preparation. It is believed that simple food, consumed in moderation will not only keep one healthy but is also good for spiritual development and promotes self-control.
Modern Magha Puja Dishes and their Variations
Magha Puja recipes have managed to remain more-or-less consistent over the years. The preparations are still simple and the recipes followed have ingredients which are not very rich or lavish. While some people have starting celebrating the day with elaborate preparations, most prefer to continue with the traditional practices.
Customary Ways to Serve and Eat Magha Puja Food
In the morning, Magha Puja dishes are prepared and food is taken to the temples and offered to the monks. This is followed by prayers, ceremonies, processions and concentrations. In the evening, after the candle processions and circumambulating is successfully completed, food is offered to the poor and friends and family gather together to enjoy various Magha Puja recipes.