These lacquered wood figures of Buddha and five monks are from Burma, where they are displayed to commemorate Dhama Sakya, or First Sermon Day, in honor of what is believed to have been the Buddha’s initial teaching following enlightenment. The important event is celebrated annually on the fourth day of the sixth month of the Buddhist calendar, which falls sometime in June or July. In the tableau, the Buddha, after just achieving enlightenment, meets five ascetics at the town of Saranath, near Varanasi in India. His talk with them sets in motion the Dharmachakra, or Buddhist Wheel of Law, the basis of Buddhist doctrine, and the five ascetics become the first Buddhist monks. These six figures are carved of teak wood that is lightly coated with dark red lacquer. Designs on the robes and lotus thrones are thayo, a type of thickened lacquer expertly handled by Burmese artisans to create intricate patterns on lacquered items. Gilding, applied more liberally to the Buddha carving than the monk figures, is the final step in the process. Complete sets of all six of the figures are not often found. This early 20th century set, done in Ava style and somewhat rustically carved, is in good condition. Dimensions of the Buddha: height 13” (33 cm), width 4” (10.2 cm), depth 3” (7.6 cm). The five disciples range in height from 9” (22.9 cm) to 11” (28 cm), in width from 3” (7.6 cm) to 3 ½” (8.9 cm) and in depth from 2” (5 cm) to 2 ½” (6 cm).