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Buddhist Festivals in India

India, the birthplace of Buddhism, is adorned with a rich tapestry of Buddhist festivals that reflect the deep spiritual heritage and cultural diversity of the region. These Buddhist festivals in India, observed by followers of Buddhism, bring communities together in a celebration of enlightenment, compassion, and the teachings of Lord Buddha.

1. Buddhist New Year

Buddhist New Year is celebrated for three days in April beginning from first full day of moon in many Asian countries including Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos.

2. Vesak

This festival celebrates the Birthday of Buddha. The birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha are all celebrated in one day. The festival takes place on the first full moon of May.

3. Magha Puja Day

Magha Puja ceremony takes place in March on full moon day of third month as per lunar calendar. The day is very auspicious and it is to remember an important event in the life of the Buddha; the fourfold assembly.

4. Asalha Puja Day

Asalha Puja is to mark the first sermon of Lord Buddha, to remember and honour him on full day of eighth month as per lunar calendar.

5. Uposatha

The four holy days in each month during the full moons, new moons and quarter moons. There are four holy days in each month during full moons, new moons and quarter moons. On these days, all Buddhists observe fasting and do not eat any meal.

6. Kathina Ceremony

In this ceremony new robe is offered to Buddhists monks.

7. Abhidhamma Day

This day celebrates the event when the Buddha is said to have gone to the Heaven to teach his mother. It is held on the full moon of April.

8. Songkran

This particular Buddhist festival is celebrated for many days in the middle of April. It is an occasion when people clean their houses, wash their clothes and sprinkle perfumed water on the monks. This festival is like a spring cleaning.

9. Loy Krathong

This festival takes place on the full moon night of the Twelfth Lunar month. People carry bowls made of leaves, which contain candles, flowers and incense sticks. Then float them in water and as they go, all bad luck is supposed to disappear.

10. The Ploughing Festival

This festival takes place in May, when the moon is half-full, two white oxen pull a gold painted plough, followed by four girls dressed in white who throw rice seeds from baskets. The festival is to rejoice the Buddha’s first moment of enlightenment at the very young when he was only seven years old.