Buddhism

Different Buddhist Festivals

The Buddhist festivals that are celebrated by Buddhists world over are the ones based on the events from Lord Buddha’s life. The others are country specific where particular traditions, cultures and legends have mingled to create their own distinct festivals.

Buddhist festivals take place according to the Buddhist Lunar calendar. Four main festivals of the Buddhists are – Buddha’s birthday, his enlightenment day, the day for the deceased and the day when he attained the Nirvana.

Different Buddhist Festivals
Listed below are some popular Buddhist festivals:

  • Buddha Purnima: The most important Buddhist festival is the Buddha Purnima which is the celebration of the birth of Lord Buddha. On this auspicious day, devotees pray for strength so that they can gain spiritual power in order to achieve Nirvana. There is a custom according to which a lantern is offered to God with dedications to family and friends.
  • The Day of Buddha’s Enlightenment: On this day the Buddhists celebrate Buddha’s Day of Enlightenment. The celebration spans over three days because Buddha took three days to get enlightened under the Bodhi tree at Gaya, in India. It is celebrated on the 12th month of the Buddhist Lunar calendar.
  • Parinirvana Day: Buddha knew that he was about to die and peacefully lay down to attain moksha. This is Buddha’s death anniversary when he attained the Nirvana and was freed from the cycle of birth.
  • Ullambana Day: This day Buddhists pray for all those close ones who are no more with them. The day is totally dedicated in their memory. It is done to bring peace to their spirits.
  • Magha puja: This is the day when some 1200 of Buddha’s disciples had been enlightened all at the same time.
  • Losar: It is the Tibetan New Year. It is celebrated for half a month and is the most important in Tibet.
  • Songkran: It is celebrated in Thailand in the New Year. Water is a very important part of this festival. Boat races and water fights along with firecrackers and puppet shows are common in the three days of celebration.
  • Poson day: Buddhism is said to spread on this day to Sri Lanka.

All Buddhist festivals are colorful and joyously celebrated amongst families, friends and relatives. The celebration is all about renewing their vows to lead a life similar to that of the Lord Buddha.

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