Introduction: Buddha Purnima (also Vesak, Buddha Day, Buddha Jayanti, Buddha’s Birthday) is an annual Buddhist festival, celebrated by Buddhists all over the world.
This festival is very popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. This festival is often referred to as “Buddha’s birthday”.
Significance: It is observed to celebrate the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha. He attained enlightenment and passed into parinirvana on the same day.
Celebration Time (Month): The timing for Buddha Purnima festival depends upon the lunar positon. Since, the lunar position varies from place to place; the timing for the celebration of the festival also varies accordingly.
In India, Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the full moon night (Purnima) of the Vesakha month. It generally falls in the month of April or May. However, there is an exception. During leap years, this festival is celebrated during June month.
Celebration: On the day of Buddha Purnima, the devotees gather together in the Buddhist Temples to hoist the Buddhist flag. Temples are decorated beautifully. Flowers are offered to teachers. Devotees are encouraged to refrain from violence and to accept only vegetarian food.
Devotees offer prayers and sit together for group meditation. On this day, the Buddhist monks teach the teachings of Buddha. The devotees are encouraged to follow the teachings of the great master.
The teachings of Gautam Buddha were simple. He asked his disciples to judge his teachings with their own intellect and then decide if they want to follow his teachings or not. The eight noble path of Buddha are of right belief, intent, speech, behaviour, effort, livelihood, contemplation and concentration.
Bodh Gaya is a sacred religious site in India. It is believed that Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment in Boda Gaya. Every year, many devotees from all over the world come to this place to celebrate Buddha Purnima.
Also read: How do people celebrate Buddha Jayanti?
What was the original name of Gautama Buddha? Gautama Buddha’s original name was Siddhartha Gautama.
Enlightenment of Buddha: Teachings of his life can be collected from Bodhgaya as it is believed that Gautama Buddha achieved Nirvana (enlightenment) at Bodhgaya.
He started to teach his teachings of Dharma at Sarnath. That’s why; on the day of Buddha Purnima, a large fair takes place at Sarnath.