Awk Phansa marks the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent period and the traditional end of the rainy season. The final day of the Buddhist Lent period falls on the full-moon day of the eleventh lunar moon and is known in most parts of Thailand as Awk Phansa, although there are some regional variations. According to Buddhist belief, the day commemorates when Buddha descended back to earth after spending three months in heaven where he had visited his mother. His return was greeted by his followers with gifts of food and today Thai Buddhists mark the event by visiting the wat and making merit. Different regions have their own way of marking the occasion, but it’s common at this time of year to see organised long-boat races.