Introduction: The auspicious day representing enlightenment and death of Gautam Buddha is celebrated as ‘Buddha Poornima’ or ‘Buddha Jayanti’.
Other popular names of the festival: Sambuddhatva Jayanti, Sambuddha Jayanti, Vesak, Vaisaka and Buddha’s birthday.
Observer countries: India, Nepal (Lumbini), Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, South East Asian Countries constituting Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Veitnam, Cambodia, Laos & Philippines.
Festival time: Buddha Poornima or full moon day in the month of May.
Customary rituals: Sermons and preaching session are arranged on this occasion for recalling ancient verses. The entire day long reverence may be paid by the devout Buddhists in one or more temples. The tiny replica of Buddha resembles a baby in its sculpted form. This idol is kept in a basin filled with water. It is adorned with the flowers. Devotees offer water to the deity marking a pure and new beginning.
Many of the Buddhists put on white attire and eat only veggies on and around the idol of Vesak. Like other religious hubs, here also, money, food or any other good are donated for ensuring aid to the poverty-stricken people, elders and retarded ones. The customary tradition of releasing caged animals appears apt and obliging as per preaching of admirable Buddha.
Significance: The birth date of Buddha is a subject of controversies among various scholars who unanimously believe that Gautam Buddha, a spiritual teacher, took birth in between sixth and fourth centuries BCE.
The centuries old festival of Buddha Jayanti reminds the influential power of spirituality by an ace-preacher of god. The decision of celebrating ‘Vesak’ as the Buddha’s birthday formally got its final stamp of acceptance at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in May of the year 1950. It was finalized as the day of the full moon in May.
Symbolic icon ‘Dharmachakra’: The commonest symbol called ‘Dharmachakra’ or dharma wheel is made of wood having eight spokes. The spindling wheel of it signifies Buddha’s preaching to adopt the way to enlightenment. The eight spokes of it represents eightfold route of Buddhism.