The Buddhist holiday calendar in any given year includes many special days that are revered by the Buddhist community.
Many of these celebrate the birthdays of Bodhisattvas in the Mahayana tradition and also other significant dates in the Buddhist calendar.
The most remarkable celebration happens every may on the night of the full moon. Buddhist people all over the world celebrate the birth, nirvana and death of the great Buddha. It has come to be known as the day of the Buddha. Buddhist festivals are always thoughtful and pious occasions.
Normally, the worshippers flock the local temples and make food offerings to the monks and take the five precepts. They also listen to a Dharma (religious) sermon (talk).
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In the afternoon they distribute food to the poor for they believe that it would bring them merit, and in the evening they join in a religious ceremony three times as a sign of respect to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This includes chanting of the teachings of Buddha and meditation.
|Name of festivals||Date of festivals||Description|
|Mahayana New Year||21st January, 2019||This New Year is a vital celebration for Buddhist although calendar dates for each country are differ with each other. Many Buddhist celebrate it on 31st December or 1st January. Every Buddhist visits a nearby temple to light up candles which is considered to bring happiness and good luck for the coming year. To shoe respect the statues of Buddha are also bathed. Religious songs are also offered to the deities.|
|Nirvana day||15th Feb, 2019||This is the annual Buddhist festival commemorating the death of the Buddha. As per Buddhist tradition, Buddha was in a state of meditation and his achievement of the highest form of Nirvana, the release from the birth cycle of rebirth. It is also known as Parinirvana. Buddhist people spend the holidays reading passages from the Parinirvana Sutra, the last days of Buddha. Most of others celebrate by meditating or going to temples. it is the typically treated as a social occasion when people can bring presents and food to share with others.|
|Magha Puja Day||19th Feb, 2019||There are many holy days held by the Buddhist community. Magha puja day take places on the full moon day of the third Lunar month. It is an important event in the life of Buddha. This event is occurred in the Buddha’s teaching life. The assembly is known to be the Fourfold Assembly as it consisted of four factors. a) it was full moon day of magha month, b) all 1250 people were Arahants, c) all of them were ordained by Buddha d) they assembled by themselves with no prior call. The evening of that day, Lord Buddha gave the assembly a discourse “Ovadha Patimokkha” that explained the principles of His teachings to be followed by all the Buddhist community. Three acts are summarized to be good, to abstain from bad action and to purify the mind. It was never celebrated in Thai kingdom. The importance of the day was felt by king Rama IV and as such he ordered the royal Magha Puja ceremony to be performed in Buddha temple. It was declared to be a public holiday back then so everybody could go to the temple and perform religious activities in the morning.|
|Theravada New year||19th April, 2019||Many Buddhist of the Theravada tradition will celebrate the New Year with symbolic elements often found at the beach, sand and water. In Buddhist tradition, each grain of sand is representative of a wrongdoing, and when it washed by the river water it means bad deeds washed away. Devotees normally spend the new year festival days in concentrated through about the Buddha’s birth.|
|Vishaka puja||18th May, 2019||Vishaka Puja day , is also known as Buddha day. Vesak is the holiest day for Buddhist and is celebrated by the Buddhist communities all over the world. It marks the tree important incidents in the life of lord Buddha. it was Buddha’s birthday, the enlightenment of the Buddha and the death of the Buddha. This day all Buddhist gather together to perform the worship to recollect the wisdom, purity and compassion of the Buddha. Listening to Dhamma preaching, making merit, activities include going to temples for special observations. T he community will also choose to abstain from alcoholic drinks and all other kinds of immoral acts.|
|Ullambana||15th August, 2019||It is a festival also called the Sangha day as the community of Sangha had finished their summer retreat. As Buddhist we should uphold the teaching of filial piety by supporting the Sangha. This I a meaningful and meritorious act as it allows the sangha to practice without any obstructions. Ulambana Sangha is offering ceremony for Buddhist laity to offer a meal to the Buddha and the sangha. Lamp lighting is symbolize the destruction, through knowledge ,dispelling of darkness of all negative focus such as violence, lust, anger greed, fear, injustice wickedness and suffering.|
|Bodhi day||13th January, 2019||The historical Buddha’s teachings had a long struggle to achieve enlightenment or Nirvana. He was determined to meditate under a papal tree and not to move until he discovered what the source of pain and suffering in this world was. He silently vowed to continue until he found a way to end all sorrow. He was able through this meditation to discover the cause of all suffering. In commemoration, many Buddhist countries people decorate their homes and trees with lights to signify the many pathways that can lead to enlightenment. Some decorate trees with shiny objects. Some of Buddhist places the statue of Buddha at the base of the tree. Some Buddhist we take the day to focus our commitment to the path by practicing longer meditation. Many Buddhist will recite the five precepts on the Bodhi day to help reaffirm their belief and conviction towards the path. A great way to get kids involved how the Buddha gained enlightenment. It is the essential day to plant and grow seeds of enlightenment of Buddha within you. Bodhi day is of importance to Buddhists being especially celebrated by Buddhists of the Pure Land, but participating in your own way can be noteworthy experience for any one of any culture.|