Buddhist Festivals and Ceremonies:

There are numerous significant and holy days that Buddhist people celebrate throughout the year with lot of gaiety and enjoyment. Many of these days are celebrated as the birthdays of Bodhisattvas and they are usually celebrated in the Mahayana tradition. These may also be celebrated on other significant dates of the Buddhist calendar.

The largest of numerous Buddhist celebrations takes place every April or May on the full moon night. This is the day of Buddha Poornima or Vaishakh Poornima when Buddhists people from all over the world celebrate the birth anniversary, enlightenment and death of Buddha that occurred more than 2,500 years ago.

This day is also known as the Buddha Day. It is celebrated on large scale in Bodh Gaya while other places also decorate the temples and streets with colorful lights, flowers, and flags.

Buddhist festivals are always happy occasions but they do not encourage hectic celebrations or abandon. Typically on a day of festival, Buddhist people visit the local temple or a monastery. There they offer food to the monks. They also take the five orders and listen to a talk or discussion of Dharma. In the afternoon, they distribute food among the poor so that they can make merit and in the evening perform a ceremonial circumambulation of a stupa three times as a sign of respect for the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. The day then comes to an ends with the evening song of the Buddha’s teachings and meditation.

Some Buddhist festival days are specific to particular Buddhist traditions.  There are two aspects to be considered regarding Buddhist festivals. Most Buddhists people in the world, with the exception of Japan, use the lunar calendar and therefore the dates of Buddhist festivals vary. For example, In The ravadin countries, the new year is celebrated for three days beginning from the first full moon day in April while in Mahayana countries this day is celebrated on the first full moon day in January.

Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply