Buddha Purnima 2024

23 May 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Buddha Purnima is the grandest festival for Buddhists. This day marks the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, later called the Gautama Buddha, who was the founder of Buddhism. It is celebrated in most of East Asia and India. According to Theravada Buddhism, this day is also observed as the day when Buddha, born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama attained Nirvana under the Mahabodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, as well as his death anniversary. This Vesak full moon day is the most important day in the Buddhist calendar. Several Buddhists go to the pagodas to pour water at the foot of the sacred tree in remembrance of the Buddhas Enlightenment and salvation.

Buddha Purnima is a major festival celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm in countries like Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia, though celebrations and traditions vary from country to country. Devotees of Buddha visit temples, light candles and incense sticks, pray and offer their prayers along with sweets and fruits before the statue of Lord Buddha. Various events on the life and teachings of Buddha are held and attended by followers all over. People usually dress in white, do not consume non-vegetarian food and distribute kheer, as according to Buddhist legends, on this day a woman named Sujata had offered Buddha a bowl of milk porridge.

In India, a large fair takes place in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh on Buddha Purnima. It is a famous Buddhist pilgrimage and auspicious site where Buddha is said to have delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The relics of Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession. Many Hindus believe Buddha to be the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and celebrate Buddha Purnima.