Make the Donation to Celebrate Buddha Purnima
Each year, India observes a wide range of festivals of several religions. India is a secular and diverse country, and each religion and factions of society have the liberty to celebrate their corresponding festivals. Buddhism, one of India’s popular religions, has its share of holidays, enabling everyone to pay a tribute to Gautam Buddha.
Buddha Purnima is the most important public holiday for Buddhists in India. Actually people from almost every religion and background take part in the festivities to honour the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. Unlike most of the western festivals, its date is not fixed as per the Gregorian calendar. We observe the festival on the full moon of the Vaishakha month of the Hindu Calendar. The central theme of this holiday is respect and humility. The symbol of Buddha Purnima is Dharma Chakra.
About Buddha Purnima
Lord Buddha was born as Siddharth Gautam, as the prince of Lumbini in around 500 BC. However, he soon realized the real pains and sufferings of life and attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya. He travelled across the country to preach Dharma to others. Sarnath was the first place where he preached his teachings. Later he became the founder of Buddhism. He attained Nirvana in the kingdom of Kushinagar and his followers have been preaching and following his teachings ever since.
Buddha Purnima became an officially recognized festival in the middle of the 20th century, but it had been celebrated for hundreds of years after Lord Buddha Died. In 1950 the Buddhists met in Sri Lanka to decide on how to spread awareness about the religion. They came up with the decision that the full moon of Vaishakh would be celebrated as Buddha Purnima to honour his life, and death.
How Do We Celebrate Buddha Purnima in India?
These are the rituals during Buddha Purnima:
- Ceremonies Before the Sunrise – During the dawn the Buddhists gather at a place of worship to celebrate Buddha Purnima. They observe the festival with prayers and dance dedicated to Lord Gautam. In some areas, devotees perform physical exercises and even martial arts. Some places witness the march of the devotees. It is to show that you are grateful to life and your health. Some people sing hymns in praise to the lord.
- Buddhist Flag is Hoisted – At the rise of the sun on the day of Buddha Purnima, the temples and other religious sites hoist the Buddhist flag. The modern flag of Buddhists has its origin in Sri Lanka, and it is of colours blue, red, orange, white, and yellow. All these colours have different meanings behind them. Blue is the representation of compassion. Red symbolizes the blessings. Orange represents wisdom. White symbolizes the purity of Dharma. And Yellow is for the Middle path, i.e. to abstain from the extremes.
- Donations – Buddhism is the religion that preaches humanity and teaches compassion, humility, and respect for all living beings. Donation is one way to show compassion. On Buddha Purnima, several temples host donations, and participants donate money or food to the monks.
- Caged Birds are Freed – Similarly, to show compassion, some people grant the most precious thing to the caged birds and animals, i.e. freedom on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.
What to Do During Buddha Purnima in India?
Buddha Purnima falls in May and is a holiday across the country. You can pay a visit to the shrines and attend the ceremonies to learn about Buddhist culture. The practices and rituals are all related to soul cleaning and can help you experience peace. On the day of Buddha Purnima, government offices are closed, and stores and businesses may be closed too. All the businesses managed by Buddhists are closed. Also, You can visit the Buddhist temple and donate money or food for the monks to pay a tribute to Gautam Buddha on the occasion.