Buddha Purnima 2018 - Lord Buddha's birthday is celebrated as Buddha Purnima (Buddha Jayanti) all over world. In 2018, Buddha Purnima falls on 29th of April, Sunday.
Buddha Purnima 2018
When is Buddha Purnima in 2018
This year, Buddha Purnima will be celebrated on April 29, 2018.
Buddha Purnima is also popular as Buddha’s Birthday, Buddha Jayanti, Vaishakh Purnima and Vesak Day.
Buddha Purnima - Buddha Purnima, reverentially, the most important day for the followers of Buddhism, commemorates Lord Buddha's enlightenment in 588 B.C and also his attainment of the highest of spiritual goals, 'Nirvana' in Bodh Gaya and 'Parinirvana' (or "final cessation") in Kushinagara. Alternatively called Buddha Jayanti, this day consecrates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. As the name itself suggests, Buddha Purnima is observed on a bright full moon in the Vaisakha month (April/May), a time especially suited for introspection, charity and puja.
Buddha Purnima History
Historically, the importance of Buddha Purnima goes back to the era of Chinese scholarship where the day is mentioned in the works of the Chinese scholar, Fa-Hien. Buddha Purnima is known by different names in different countries. As per the native tongue of different countries, Nepal observes 'Swanyapunhi', Singapore upholds Lord Buddha's teachings on 'Vesak Day', Indonesia celebrates 'Hari Waisak', while Thailand commemorates this day as 'Visakha Bucha Day'. Buddha Jayanti is celebrated across south-east Asian countries that have a recognizable Buddhist population. Countries that observe Buddha Purnima include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Korea, China, Cambodia, and Japan.
Rituals during Buddha Purnima
Buddhists observe Buddha Purnima with great calmness and contemplation, reflecting on the moral precepts laid down by Lord Buddha, ruminating on the events of his exemplary life, visiting monasteries and listening to sermons and narratives/verses from Buddhist scriptures, offering food and donation to the monks and paying homage to the statue of Buddha by offering incense, flowers, candles, and fruits.
Despite the festivity, the mood during Buddha Jayanti is peaceful and sublime. For Buddhists, this is a day to reaffirm their faith in the five principles called Panchsheel, i.e. refraining from taking life, stealing, lying, consuming intoxicants and committing adultery, as well as the Eight-Fold path as symbolized by the Dharma wheel. The day advances with a host of religious activities that include large-scale prayer meets, recitation of Buddhist Holy Scriptures, religious discourses, group meditation, processions, and elaborate offerings and worship of the statue of Lord Buddha. Special religious programmes including 'bhajan' and 'aarti' are held. As a part of rituals, devotees pour milk and scented waters on the Bodhi tree and place diyas around it.
The holy Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, which is the main shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha sees hordes of followers descending on the site on this day. Sarnath, near Varanasi, where the Buddha preached his first sermon is another important site for Buddha Purnima celebrations. Followers from Thailand, Tibet, Bhutan and various other places visit Sarnath on this day for blessings.
The most important and visual aspect of Buddha Purnima celebrations is the procession in Bodh Gaya that starts from the 80-ft tall Buddha statue up to the Mahabodhi tree, the fig tree, representative of Lord Buddha's Enlightenment. The Mahabodhi tree is worshipped in a ritualistic way with water, incense, flowers, diyas and candles. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, a strong symbolic and architectural gem, housing the majestic statue of Buddha is decorated with colorful flags and flowers for Buddha Purnima celebrations. The temple premises and adjoining locality are lit up in equal measure and decorated with colorful flags in yellow, white, red and blue at various places. A Buddha statue is also worshipped which stands near the consecrated 'Vajrasana' or the 'Diamond Throne', which exists from King Asoka's age.
Since purity is one of the hallmarks of this day, 'Kheer', a sweet-dish made with rice and milk is prepared. Meat-eating is totally abstained from. Devotees generally prefer to dress in white. To mark the occasion, fairs are also held. As a symbolic gesture, on Buddha Purnima, Buddhists in India and other Buddhist countries make special efforts to light up their houses while streets are gloriously illumined with lights. In Orissa, Dhauligiri is a Buddhist site known for Buddha Purnima celebrations.
In Sikkim, scriptures are read before the Buddha statue throughout the day. Devotees gather in huge numbers to listen to discourses on the life and teachings of the Buddha. Followers wear white robes on the day of Buddha Purnima. In Nepal, traditionally, this day witnesses a large congregation around Buddhists stupas. Likewise, Lumbini, the sacred birthplace of Lord Buddha, also sees mass participation of Buddhists from everywhere. In Sri Lanka, homes are brightly illuminated. In Japan, April 8th marks the Buddha's birthday, and a traditional way of worshipping is using spring flower for shrines and placing small Buddha idols on them. In Myanmar, Buddhists water and worship the Bodhi trees.
Buddha Purnima Date Calendar
2017: May 10 (Wednesday)
2018: April 30 (Monday)
2019: May 18 (Saturday)
2020: May 7 (Thursday)
2021: May 26 (Wednesday)