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The festival of Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak and Buddha Jayanti, is celebrated by the followers of Buddhism in a large number of South Asian and South-east Asian countries. Followers belonging to different traditions and places refer it with different names. Fundamentally, the essence of festival is same for everyone. Though, many believe it be a commemoration of birth of Lord Buddha, in real, it commemorates for his birth as well as his spiritual enlightenment (Nirvana) and passing away (Parinirvana).
Time of Celebration
Other that Bodh Gaya, Lumbini and Kushinara are the other important places significantly associated with the life of Buddha. Other than that, Sarnath which is considered to be the capital of Buddhism draws devotees in large numbers on this special day.
Rituals and Celebrations
2. Devotees sing hymns in sync admiring Buddha, Dharma (Buddha’s teachings), and Sangha (Buddha’s disciples). Also, they participate in discourse session in which various important principles and teachings of Buddhism and Buddha are delivered. Group meditation, continuous worship of Lord Buddha, and religious processions are other significant events which keep the day engaged.
3. In some Buddhist temples, a small baby statue representing for Lord Buddha is placed. Devotees visiting the place pour in some water over that, as it symbolizes for a new and positive beginning in life. Other than that, flowers and fruits are offered, and incense sticks and candles are lightened up in adoration of Lord.
4. Conventionally, celebrating festivals in Buddhism is more about having peaceful joy rather than over-the-top amusement. That is quite prevalent amongst its followers all across the globe, and gets reflected in the way they celebrate this festival. They illuminate their houses, streets, markets, and temples with fancy colourful lights and elements of decorations.
5. Engaging into generous activities on this day is considered to derive extreme virtue. People extend their hands to facilitate financial and non-financial help to those organizations which are engaged in generous acts of improvement of life of poor, sick, elderly, and needy. Some buy and liberate those animals which have been caged.
6. Kheer, a sweet dish, made up of milk and rice is served on the day. That is done in order to recollect one incidence from the life of Buddha when he was served with it by Sujata, a maiden.
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