Well, while browsing the social media I came across one really interesting post from one of my friend who belongs to the Northeastern part of India .. she shared a beautiful thought on Buddha Purnima. After reading her post I realised I didn’t really know a lot about this hence I decided to study about it. In this blog, I shall share with you what I learned about this really interesting festival of Buddha Purnima.
Buddha Purnima- One Of The Most Holy Days For The Buddhist
Buddha Purnima is also called Buddha Jayanti, Buddha day and Vesak. This day is considered one of the most sacred and most important festivals for the Buddhists. Considering its incredible popularity in India, Buddha Purnima is celebrated across the world with much enthusiasm and oomph.
The Buddhists people consider every single full moon day as holy, but the moon of Vaisakh holds special importance. The special full moon that appears in the month of Vaisakh is the day when Lord Buddha was born, achieved nirvana (enlightenment), and attained nirvana post death (parinirvana) i.e. when he died.
Buddha day or Buddha Purnima marks the birth anniversary of Lord Gautam Buddha; in addition to this, the festival of Buddha Purnima is celebrated by the Hindus and Buddhists across the globe making it at international attraction too.
The Celebrations & Holidays
The festival of Buddha Purnima holds special significance in India and Nepal both. This is because lord Gautam Buddha was born in the region of Lumbini of Nepal and achieved salvation in the region of Kushinagar of our country India.
Primarily, this festival is celebrated in India and Nepal, apart from that it is also observed in Cambodia, Japan, China, Indonesia, Korea, USA, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, and the Philippines.
Buddha Day is a listed holiday in many Indian states, let’s list them down here:
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Himachal Pradesh
- West Bengal
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- Andaman and Nicobar
Vesak is considered a public holiday for the above states. This day is a holiday for the general population and for schools too. Most of the businesses are closed during this day. The festival of Buddha Jayanti or as many call Vesak falls on the full moon day that falls between the months of April to May. The celebrations are carried out across various parts of the world as mentioned above. In India this year, Buddha Purnima was celebrated on May 18.
Lord Buddha is considered as the 8th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu in India. Hence this day is celebrated with much fervor and zeal. In addition to this, another major reason for the celebration of this festival is that it is believed that on this very full moon day, Lord Buddha achieved Nirvana or Salvation.
What Do People Do on Buddha Purnima
On Vesak, several Buddhist followers visit temples to listen to the enlightening talks of the monks and recite the ancient verses. The deeply religious Buddhist people spend the entire day visiting in one or more temples. Many temples keep in display a little statue of baby Buddha. The statue of Buddha as a little infant is placed in a basin full of clear water decorated with fresh colourful flowers. Pilgrims who visit the temple on this auspicious day pour water over baby Buddha statue, a custom that symbolises a new beginning that is totally pure.
During Vesak, several Buddhists pay special attention to the teachings of Gautama Buddha. In addition to this, few wear white colour robes and choose to eat only vegetarian food on and around the festival time.
Many people donate food, goods, and money to organisation or NGOs that help people who are poor, old, or sick. Another interesting thing done by people is that they bring in caged animals and set them free, this is done to display a sense of care and love for all living creatures – i.e. one of the prime teachings of Lord Gautama Buddha.
Interesting isn’t it? I really loved studying about this amazing festival. In fact, reading about it was a great experience. I feel celebrations are great, but when you give back to the world with little act of kindness it’s a much better feeling, isn’t it? We all have been taught about Lord Buddha and his super wise thoughts, but did we really implement his teachings anywhere?
It’s high time we think and do something that helps others and makes them happy. Do let us know what you think about this. Have you celebrated Buddha Purnima, is there anything I missed out adding here? Do share it with me in the comment section below.