Buddha Purnima in Varanasi

Location: Sarnath, Varanasi

When: On the full moon day of April or May

Highlights:

One of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind which India has produced is indisputably, Buddha. Buddha's message has travelled far and wide and captured the hearts and minds of billions of people outside India. Buddha Purnima festival is celebrated to observe the birth of Lord Buddha. Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with great traditional religious enthusiasm. Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Vaisakh (April or May). Lord Buddha was born on the full moon day in the month of Vaisakh in 563 BC. It is interesting to mention that Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment and nirvana (salvation) on the same day (the full moon day) therefore Buddha Purnima is also remembered as the death anniversary of Gautam Buddha. Since Sarnath holds an important place in Buddhism as Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath so on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, an enormous fair is held at Sarnath and the relics of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession. Apart from Sarnath, Buddha Purnima is also celebrated with religious fervor at Bodh Gaya, Kushinagar and other parts of India and the world. Buddha Purnima celebrations at Sarnath draws large number of Buddhist as Buddhists offer prayers in different Buddhist temples at Sarnath on this day. Prayers, sermons, recitation of Buddhist scriptures are other important religious activities performed by the Buddhists at Sarnath. Huge number of Monks and devotees meditate and worship the statue of Gautam Buddha and also offer fruits, flowers, candles etc to statues of Lord Buddha. The beauty of this event is amplified by millions of earthen lamps "Diyas" placed in Mulgand Kuti Vihar. To make the event more popular U.P. Tourism department organizes two days Cultural Program which adds the magnificence to the event.