Buddha Purnima is the most important and sacred day in the world of Buddhist calendar. In Nepal, Buddha Purnima is popularly known as Buddha Jayanti and is celebrated by Buddhist people as well as many other religious people with great enthusiasm and excitement. For the honor of Lord Buddha, official holiday is given in Buddha Purnima. Tibetan Buddhist, Newar Buddhist, and all other Buddhist people go to different Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Buddha Purnima, such as Lumbini, Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, and others. The Buddha Purnima is celebrated in the sacred full moon of Vaisakh.
Buddha Purnima is considered as a quite important Buddhist festival since, on this specific day, Lord Buddha was born in Shakya clan of Lumbini, attained the great Nirvana in Bodh gaya under Bodhi Tree, and attained Parinirvana in Kushinagar (Death of Buddha). So many considered Buddha Purnima as The Thrice Blessed Festival in many parts of the country. Buddha purnima is considered as important Buddhist events in many Buddhist tradition i.e. Buddhism in Burma, Buddhism in Tibet, Buddhism in Thailand, Buddhist in Nepal and so on.
Buddha Purnima in Nepal
Being one of the major festivals in Nepal, Buddha Purnima festival is seen with much excitement as well spiritual as well as religious significance. In Kathmandu valley, Buddha Purnima is mostly focused in Swayambhunath Stupa and Bouddhanath Stupa. Swayambhunath Temple is filled many Buddhist and non-Buddhist people and the temple is decorated according to Buddhist tradition. Buddhist people show their respect with various Buddhist practice such as meditating in front of Buddha statues, praying with praying beads while non-Buddhist people show their respect by praying in front of Buddha statues, stupa. In Bouddhanath stupa, many Tibetan-Burmese Buddhist people pray and meditate.
Newar Buddhist people organize the life of Buddha through paintings, small statues etc. While in local places such as Baha, common Buddha statues i.e. different styles of Nepali Buddha statues, Tibetan Buddha statues, Newar Buddhist people decorate with lights and pray in front of the stupa while some Buddhist people read Buddhist mantra in front of them. While in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Buddhist center organized a great fair about Buddha and, of course, hundreds and thousands of Buddhist disciples and Buddhist monks from all over the world come to Lumbini to take part in Buddha Purnima.
Some special events are organized in Buddha Purnima and they are:
1. Since Buddhism is known for peace, birds are freed from cages as the symbol of peace while some donate fruits and clothes to sick.
2. To respect Lord Buddha, Buddhist people continuously recite Buddhist scriptures, important sermons, and teachings of Lord Buddha.
3. Many Buddhist monks meditate and worship in front of Nepal Tibet Buddha statues and offers incense and flowers as well as candles.
4. In some occasion, Buddhist people reaffirm their faith and respects in Buddhism and started reading five principles such as not to take life, not to steal from others, to only speak truths, not to consume intoxicants or liquor, and not to commit action related with adultery.