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Buddha Jayanti

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Introduction

Buddha Purnima festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Buddha. Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with traditional religious fervor. Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Vaisakh (April/May). Lord Buddha was born on the Full Moon day in the month of Vaisakh in 563 BC. Here, it is interesting to note that Buddha achieved enlightenment and nirvana (salvation) on the same day (the Full Moon day). Thus, Buddha Purnima also marks the death anniversary of Gautam Buddha. Sarnath holds an important place in Buddhism as Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath. On the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, a large fair is held at Sarnath and the relics of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession.

 

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History of Buddha Jayanti

It was in the first World fellowship of Buddhist Conference held in Sri Lanka in the year 1950 that unanimous decision was taken to celebrate Vesākha as the Buddha’s birthday worldwide. Observed by almost all Buddhists sects, Buddha Purnima is the vibrant celebration in practice since long time now. This festival is an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving by the followers of Buddha through observing his birth anniversary to showcase respect to the Buddhist religion’s founder.

This festival reminds the believers of Buddhism religion about the most important aspects related to this religion. They include significance of Buddhism as a religion, founder’s birth and the concept of an enlightenment associated with that. Equally does this festival remain a popular one since centuries to remind the passing away of Buddha—the founder of Buddhism religion and his importance for the humanity.  Celebrated on the full moon of the Vesākha month which usually falls in the April—May month, Buddha Purnima is also famous as Vesakha.

 

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How to celebrate Buddha Jayanti

Common celebrations during the Buddha Purnima occasion are programs to observe the meditation schedules besides the important observance of eight precepts that complete key concepts of Buddhism as a religion for the followers. Rest activities are the notable things from making this festival enlivened during which believers of Buddhism as a religion observe the festival through sticking to vegetarian food. Rest activities like bathing the Buddha idol and giving charity make this day special.

Followers of Buddhist religion observe Buddha Purnima as a holy day in countries dominated by the followers of Buddhism. The countries like Sri Lanka, India, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and many other South East Asian nations including the Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Indonesia amongst others have sizeable number of Buddhists. Buddhism has flourished in these countries since several centuries. Celebrations on this special day are of the Buddha's Birthday, and so is this day special one to commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment. It is also meant to remember the death of Buddha on this particular day as an observance of his sacrificing roles.

 

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