Buddha Jayanti

Buddha Jayanti 2017

Buddhists all over the world celebrate and observe the Buddha’s birth in Lumbini, Nepal on Buddha Jayanti. The Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama. He later renounced his royal title to pursue a life of asceticism and meditation, seeking answers to end suffering in the world. After many years on this quest, Siddhartha became a realised being under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, India. He became the Buddha, meaning the enlightened one.

 

Man splashing Swayambhanath stupa with saffron water.

Photos: Kashish Das Shrestha/ ON

The Buddha Jayanti falls in the month of Baisakh (April-May). This is among the most significant of events on the Buddhist calendar. The day is a commemoration of the birth as well as the enlightenment of Siddhartha. Buddha Jayanti is celebrated and observed as a festival in several Buddhist countries, mostly in South and East Asia.

Devotees make offerings of butter lamps, flowers, fruits, and chant prayers through the day. Acts of compassion like giving food to the needy and donating clothes are also practised.