Buddha Purnima 2021: Why is Buddha Birth anniversary celebrated? Date, significance and importance of the day

Buddha Purnima 2021: Why is Buddha Birth anniversary celebrated? Date, significance and importance of the day

Vaisakha is the second month of the Hindu calendar that corresponds to April/May in the Gregorian calendar.

On May 26th 2021, as per the Lunar Calendar that Indian-origin religions following, Vesak (Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti) - a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death will be observed.

Buddha Purnima 2021 Date: Buddha Purnima, also known as Buddha Jayanti, is an auspicious day that marks the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is believed that this was also the day he attained enlightenment.

How the Buddha Purnima date is decided:
Though the date according to the Gregorian calendar may vary from year to year, the Buddha Purnima or Vesak festival falls on the day of the Full Moon in the Hindu month of Vaishakh (which comes in the month of April or May) and it is a gazetted holiday in India.

The Hindu calendar year is based on the Vikram era, after King Vikram of Ujjain. The system is still widely used in Northern and Western India. The calendar began in 57-56 BCE.

Vaisakha is the second month of the Hindu calendar that corresponds to April/May in the Gregorian calendar.

Why is the birth anniversary of the Buddha called Vesak?
The festival is known worldwide as Vesak due to the Sinhala (Sri Lankan) devotees as the festival is called Vesak in Sinhalese. It is observed in the full moon of May. Buddhism is considered the state religion of Sri Lanka and has been given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution such as government protection and fostering of Buddhist Dharma. However, the constitution also provides for freedom of religion and the right to equality among all its citizens.

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Is Buddha Purnima/Vesak a Public Holiday?
Buddha Purnima/Vesak is a public holiday in India. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. The Buddha Purnima festival is considered a big day in India just as it is in countries with Buddhism as the state religion too. According to ancient texts, Buddha is considered one of the Avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to certain traditions, Lord Vishnu has also been assimilated into Sinhalese Buddhist culture, and Mahayana Buddhism is sometimes called Buddha-Bhagavatism.

India, the land where Buddha received enlightenment, Buddha Purnima is a big festival. On the occasion of Vesak Purnima, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in virtual Vesak Day celebrations on Buddha Purnima.

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To understand how the Buddha's message of non-violence and compassion has percolated to the entire world, just see how even NASA weaves in a headline about the Buddha Purnima Day when writing about the Lunar Eclipse, Super Monn, Flower Moon, Blood Moon that coincides with the day on May 26, 2021, that is today.

"The Next Full Moon is the Flower, Corn Planting, or Milk Moon, Vesak or Buddha Purnima, a Lunar Eclipse, and a Supermoon" headlines NASA.

We wish everyone Happy Vesak on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

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