Buddha Purnima is a full moon day that marks the birth of Lord Buddha. The Hindu as well as Buddhist festival is celebrated across the globe, especially in regions of East Asia and South Asia.
It commemorates the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama who was later referred to as the Gautama Buddha. In 2023, the auspicious day falls on May 5.
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 11:44 PM on May 4 and will be in effect till 11.03 PM on May 5.
The intervening night of May 4 and 5 is believed to be very special and best for spiritual advancement, deep prayers, and meditation.
Significance of Buddha Purnima:
Gautama Buddha is believed to have been born in Lumbini in 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.