Buddha Jayanti - The Most Important Day For Buddhists
Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is a festival celebrated by Buddhists and Hindus devotees from all over the world.
Buddhist people celebrate Buddha Jayanti to honor the three most important events in the life of Lord Buddha - his birth, attaining enlightenment, and reaching nirvana (his death). The day is based on the full moon day of May. It usually falls on late Baishak or early Jestha as per Bikram Sambat Calendar. Since it's a full moon day, this day is also known as Buddha Purnima.
Buddha Jayanti Celebration
Devotees visit Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini or Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu to light candles, butter lamps and incense in Lord Buddha’s peaceful memory. They also pray, meditate and read the teachings of the Buddhas. The Mayadevi Temple is surrounded by thousands of lamps that look significantly beautiful at night.
Boudhanath Stupa having the largest Buddhist spherical dome also has its flair for celebrating Buddha Jayanti. People place the image of Buddha in an elephant’s head march in Boudhanath before heading to Chabahil’s stupa.
Buddhists not only make offerings and visit Lord Buddha’s holy shrines, but they also eat kheer and light 108 butter lamps in these shrines, or a nearby shrine.
Significance of Buddha Jayanti
Lord Buddha resembles peace and prosperity. Every full moon carries importance for the Buddhists, but the full moon (Purnima Tithi) in May is the most important one out of them all. So, Buddhists not only celebrate Buddha Jayanti for Lord Buddha’s three important events. They also celebrate to remember the icon of peace and prosperity more than any other day.
Since Lord Buddha is considered the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu according to Hindu beliefs, Hindu people celebrate Buddha Jayanti as well. They visit Buddha’s holy shrines and make prayers to him.
Besides Nepal, in countries like Burma, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Tiber, and Thailand, Buddhism followers celebrate Buddha Jayanti in their own cultural way.