Buddhist Festivals Celebrated
Buddhism originated in India about 2500 years ago between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Buddhism is today the world's fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers. Buddhism is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development. Buddhists strive for a deeper insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.
Buddhism is a religion largely based on teachings of Gautama Buddha. Siddhartha Gautama, was born into a royal family in Lumbini which is in present-day Nepal. He lived a royal life of privilege and luxury until one day he left the royal palace where he saw for the first time, an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. Disturbed by these sights, he left his wife and royal palace to became a monk. He adopted a very harsh life of poverty and asceticism. However this path also did not satisfy him. Buddha then chose to pursue the ‘Middle Way’ - a life without luxury but also without poverty.
Given below are some of the Buddhist festivals.
Considered to be the ninth avatar of Vishnu. Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is marked as the most important day, commemorating the three most significant events in the life of Gautama Buddha that occurred on the same day.
Ullambana, or the Ghost Festival, is the most popular Buddhist festival. On this day, it is believed that the "Gates of the Hell" are opened and the dead souls visit their loved ones.
For Theravada Buddhists, Uposatha are days marked by full and new moons and are observed with intense meditation and study. Past sins are confessed and ancient monastic rules of the Pali Vinaya-pitaka are recited.
Losar is one of the major festivals celebrated by the Tibetan Buddhists with much gaiety in various parts of India. Buddhists dress up well, visit their relatives and offer worships in temples to seek blessings of various gods.