Buddha Poornima, which falls on the
full moon night in the month of Vaisakha (either in
April or May), commemorates the birth anniversary of
Lord Buddha, founder of Buddhism. Notwithstanding the
summer heat (the temperature routinely touches 45 degrees
C), pilgrims come from all over the world to Bodh Gaya
to attend the Buddha Poornima celebrations. The day
is marked with prayer meets, sermons on the life of
Gautam Buddha, religious discourses, continuous recitation
of Buddhist scriptures, group meditation, processions,
worship of the statue of Buddha and symposia. The Mahabodhi
Temple wears a festive look and is decorated with colourful
flags and flowers. The Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien, has
recorded celebration of this festival.
It is an important to give a summarized description
on the Buddhist festivals in India, especially in the
main places of worship. The principal annual ceremony
for all the Buddhist is the Vaisaka Purnima known in
Sri Lanka as Wesak festival and in India as Buddha Jayanti.
Vaisaka Purnima day is fixed by the full-moon day of
the month Vaisaka, which falls in May. Like all other
Buddhist festivals it falls according to the Lunar year.
It was of this day of the year, according to the year.
He attained Supreme Enlighten, or Buddha hood, beneath
the Bodhi-tree at Boddha Gaya. Forty-five years later
at the age of eighty, he finally passed away in Parinivana
on the same day of the year at Kushinagar. Vaisaka Purnima
is celebrated especially in Boddha Gaya, Lumbini and
in Kushinara as they are the holy places that were connected
with the blessed ones birth, enlighten and the Parinirvana.
Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China,
Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Nepal,
Japan and quite a number of western Buddhists participate
Vaisaka Purnima Day religious activities in a festive
mood. Sarnath the capital of Buddhism too celebrates
Vaisaka Purnima day in a grand way.
The great Buddhist festival, Vaisaka, although is an
occasion for rejoicing doesn't encourage hectic gaiety
and abandon. The happiness that the Buddhists feel,
when they are celebrating it is a tranquil, peaceful
joy. The festival has its gay side as well. In most
of the Buddhist countries the villages, roads, streets,
temples and houses are brightly illuminated with color
Lanterns, electric lights and colorful, tasteful decorations.