Buddha Purnima (May 7): History, Significance, Wishes and Quotes

What is Buddha Purnima?

Buddha Purnima is a major festival celebrated with great pomp and fervour in countries like Sri Lanka (where it is called Vesak), India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia, though celebrations vary from country to country.

History of Buddha Purnima

The festival of Buddha Purnima is traditionally celebrated to commemorate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama​, who later became Gautama Buddha and went on to become the founder of Buddhism. On this day, people celebrate Siddhartha's choice to embrace a spiritual quest wherein he renounced all worldly pleasures to become a holy man. He chose this life when he witnessed the suffering of common people. He was hence inspired to let go of his royal life, DNA India reported.

Buddha's birth country is considered as Nepal, and there this day is celebrated in accordance to the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar. Neighbouring Southeast Asian countries too, celebrate this day during the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist and Hindu calendar, which is usually the month of April or May according to the Western Gregorian calendar.

The birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is celebrated as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti with much fervour across the world. It falls on a full moon day in the month of Vaisakh (April/May) according to the Hindu calendar. This year Buddha Purnima will be celebrated on May 7.

In Theravada Buddhism, it is also observed as the day when Buddha, born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-483 BCE) attained Nirvana (salvation) under the Mahabodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, Bihar, as well as his death anniversary. The Vesak full moon day is the most important day in the Buddhist calendar. Several Buddhists go to the pagodas to pour water at the foot of the sacred tree in remembrance of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.

Significance of Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima (May 7): History, Significance, Wishes and Quotes
Photo Hindustan Times

This is the day when Lord Buddha was born as ‘Siddhartha Gautama’. He left the world and all its pleasures on this day in search of self-discovery.

He attained enlightenment on this day and became the one who is ‘fully awake’.

It is believed that Buddha Purnima carries the creation of nine out of 10 favorable conditions termed as mahayog. Hence this day seems to be quite auspicious in terms of astrological significance as well, Rgyan cited.

What do they do at Buddha Purnima festival?

Devotees of Buddha visit temples, light candles and incense sticks, pray and offer sweets and fruits before the statue of Lord Buddha. Sermons on the life and teachings of Buddha are held and attended by followers all over. People usually dress in white, do not consume non-vegetarian food and distribute kheer, as according to Buddhist lore, on this day a woman named Sujata had offered Buddha a bowl of milk porridge.

Many followers also free caged birds on this day as a symbol of empathy and compassion for all living beings, one of the most important teachings of Lord Buddha

South-East Asian countries like Mongolia celebrates the festival on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month. It is also known as Buddha Jayanti in these areas.

In some East Asian countries, the festival is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month in the lunar calendar according to the Chinese. It is an official holiday in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Macau. Buddha Purnima 2021 is slated to be celebrated in May in these countries, although the dates might change according to the full moon.

Believe it or not, Buddha Jayanti is a huge thing in Japan and has been so since the Meiji Restoration in 1873. You will find that Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in several temples, although concentrated in the Okinawa prefecture.

Known as Buddho Purnima, Bangladesh holds large fairs around viharas and temples. You will find vendors selling a wide variety of Bengali cuisine (vegetarian) outside these temples, Red Bus cited.

Distributing rice milk porridge

Buddha Purnima (May 7): History, Significance, Wishes and Quotes
Photo Foodndtv

Other ways that people celebrate would be by distributing Kheer (rice milk porridge) amongst loved ones and the poor. According to legend, it was one of the things offered to The Buddha on his travels and is considered to be a holy sweet on this day of celebrations.

Read More: Top 10 Most Delicious Foods in Vietnam

Here are a few quotes that you can send to your loved ones on this day:

1. "The mind is everything. What you think you become".

Therefore, think of peace and blissfulness. A very happy Buddha Purnima to you.

2. This Buddha Purnima, may you get enlightened by the divine rays and grace of the Almighty.

3. May Lord Buddha guide us on the path of love, peace and truth. Happy Buddha Purnima to you and your family.

4. Let us be grateful towards who made you meet with yourself. Here's wishing you a Happy Buddha Purnima 2020!

5. Aroghyam Oka Goppa Varam!Santrupti Oka Goppa Sampada !!Viswassam Manchi Bandhavaim !!Happy Buddha Jayanti

6. Buddham Sharanam GachamiOm Mani Padme HumMay Lord Buddha enlighten you on the path of love, peace, and truth.Happy Buddha Purnima!

7. On Buddha Purnima, here's wishing you peace, love, happiness, good health and prosperity.

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