Festivals & Public Holidays

This section on Buddhist festivals in 2023 features list of holidays, festivals and observance in Buddhism religion.

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Buddhist Festivals in 2023

Buddhist Festivals - With a multiplicity of ceremonies and traditions, Buddhist communities all across the globe celebrate a large number of Buddhist festivals. The festivals are primarily centered on the events associated with Lord Buddha and the Bodhisattvas (Buddha's followers aspiring for enlightenment).

Buddhist Festivals

Most Buddhists follow the lunar calendar; nevertheless, the festivals, rituals, ceremonies and dates differ from country to country. Every Buddhist festival has a legend associated with it, and is interwoven to the cultures of the Buddhist ethnic groups. Principally, there are two schools of Buddhism: Theravada and Mahayana. What is certain is that all these festivals hold immense significance in the lives of the Buddhist all around the world.

The most prominent celebration of these is the Vesak or Visakah Puja, which observes the day of Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and nirvana (death). As per lunar calendar, it takes place every year on the first full moon night of May. The festival is celebrated with great fervor in India, and in Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Nepal and others.

Major events of the day are praying, meditating, visiting monastery, and attending religious sermons given from Buddhist texts, amongst others. In some countries, Buddhists take part in the festivities of Vesak by setting up vivid pandals, lighting lanterns, and giving alms (dana) like food, clothes and other basic amenities to the monks, or the needy. Though officially acknowledged as Vesak, the festival is known worldwide by other names as well, such as Visakah Puja, Buddha Purnima, Buddha Day or Buddha Jayanti.

Equally significant and joyful occasion is the Buddhist New Year which happens to fall in different times of the year for different countries, depending upon the calendar they follow. Buddhist families perform certain traditional ceremonies, visit friends and relatives, and exchange presents during this time.

Apart from these, there is an array of Buddhist holidays and each festival holds immense significance in the life and culture of Buddhists around the world. These include Magha Puja Day, AsalhaPuja Day (Dhamma Day), Uposatha (Observance Day), Pavarana Day, Songkran, AbhidhammaDay, Loy Krathong (Festival of Floating Bowls), Losar Festival, Hemis Fair, and UllambanaFestival, to name a few.

Buddhist festivals nowadays are less of pomp and show and more of an occasion for the followers of Lord Buddha to remind them of the spiritual path they have to follow. Buddhist festivals are celebrated according to Buddhist religion belief and traction. List of Buddhist festivals and holidays celebrated around the world.

Buddhist Holidays in 2023

Date Day Holiday / Festival
Jan 07, 2023 Saturday Mahayana New Year
Jan 22, 2023 Sunday Chinese New Year
Feb 15, 2023 Wednesday Nirvana Day
Mar 06, 2023 Monday Magha Puja Day
Apr 06, 2023 Thursday Theravada New Year
May 19, 2023 Friday Vesak - Buddha Jayanti
Jul 03, 2023 Monday Asala - Dharma Day
Aug 13, 2023 Sunday Obon
Dec 08, 2023 Friday Bodhi Day

Religious Festivals

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