Buddha Purnima is a Buddhist festival that is celebrated in most of East Asia and South Asia. It commemorates the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama who was later referred to as the Gautama Buddha. He was the founder of Buddhism. This year Buddha Purnima falls on May 16.
Buddha Purnima: Date and time
Buddha Purnima falls on the Purnima Tithi of the Vaishaka month of the Hindu calendar. According to Drik Panchang, Purnima Tithi will begin at 12:45 PM on May 15 and will be in effect till 9:43 AM on May 16.
Significance of Buddha Purnima:
Gautama Buddha is believed to have been born in Lumbini which is now known as Nepal. In South and South East Asia, Buddha's birth is celebrated as a part of Vesak, which commemorates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha. The public holiday for Buddha Purnima in India was initiated by B.R. Ambedkar when he was the minister of law and justice.
How Buddha Purnima is celebrated in India:
Buddhists go to common Viharas- a monastery for Buddhists, to observe a rather longer-than-usual, full-length Buddhist sutra similar to a service. The followers of the Theravada style wear pure white clothing while the others don't follow a particular dress code. Famous foods like kheer and sweet rice porridge are commonly served to celebrate this festival. These foods are served to recall the story of Sujata, a maiden, who offered Buddha a bowl of porridge. Some Buddhists avoid Non-vegetarian food while commemorating this festival.
A wonderful quote by Gautama Buddha:
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or demons, heavens or hell.