Nepal is a multicultural and multi-religious country. There are many festivals and special occasions that are celebrated in the country with much joy and happiness. Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is one of the important days where the birth of the ‘light of Asia’ is celebrated. The festival usually falls on the first full moon day of the first month of the Nepali calendar- Baisakh. It usually falls on May or April, which are also the perfect months to visit Nepal. If you are in Nepal at this point of time then you can definitely opt for the Kathmandu heritage site tour. This particular tour will take you to important Buddhist sites in Kathmandu Valley.
Siddharth Gautama was the son of king Suddhodhana and Queen Mayadevi of Kapilvastu. He later attained enlightenment and came to be known as Gautam Buddha. According to Legend, Siddhartha’s mother saw a white elephant with six tusks entering her body. As per the traditional approach of giving birth in the parent’s house, Mayadevi left kapilvastu and headed to her parent’s house. On the way she suffered labor pain and the child was born in Lumbini under the shade of a tree. It is believed that as soon as Siddhartha was born, he announced that it was his last rebirth and took seven steps. On every step he took, a lotus bloomed.
When Siddhartha the prince was born, a renowned astrologer told the king that the prince would either be a great emperor who would conquer the world or he would leave everything behind and become a great sage and teacher. Hearing this, his father decided that his son would definitely be a great king, thus that day forward; Siddhartha grew in the comfort of his palaces and was kept away from all other worldly sufferings. As fate would have it, one day while he was on a ride around the village, he saw three things that changed his life forever; he saw an old man, a diseased person and a dead person. Having seen things that he had never seen before, he started questioning as to why human beings suffer and what could he do to eliminate these sufferings. At the age of 29, Siddhartha Gautama left his just born son, his wife and parents and headed into the woods to find answers to his questions. After leaving behind the luxury of his palace, the prince started to move from one place to another, meditating and searching for wise men that could help him find the answers he was looking for. Finally while meditating under the Bodhi tree, Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment and became ‘The Buddha.’ He started teaching and spreading the knowledge he had attained from years of penance and soon the word of Buddha started to spread all over Asia.
Buddha Jayanti or Buddha’s birthday is celebrated with much joy all around the globe. On this day the devotees of Buddha dress in white and offer vegetarian food, fruits, flowers and candles to the Buddha. Animals that are kept in cages are freed to show compassion to all sentient beings. Food, water and cash is distributed to the old and the poor, with the aim of helping the weaker people of the society. In Nepal, Buddha Jayanti is a national holiday and animal sacrifice is banned on this day. All the important shrines like Swayambhunath, Boudanath etc. are decorated and prayers are offered for prosperity and well-being of all life. In Lumbin which is the birth place of Buddha, the Mayadevi temple is beautifully decorated and illuminated with colorful lights. The statue of Buddha is kept in a chariot and a procession is carried out. The monks chants mantras and even give a sermon on the life and teachings of Buddha.
If you are interested in Buddhism and if you are keen on doing a religious tour to Nepal and Bhutan, we may have just the right package which may suit your needs and requirement. Our Nepal and Bhutan Buddhist pilgrimage tour is designed to take you to places that ooze the spirit of Buddha and his teachings.