Updated May 22nd, 2024 at 08:12 IST

Buddha Purnima 2024: Date, Timing, Muhurat, Rituals

Celebrated by millions of Buddhists around the world, Buddha Purnima marks the birth, enlightenment, and death (Parinirvana) of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.

Buddha Purnima 2024 | Image:Unsplash
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Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti, is one of the most significant festivals in the Buddhist calendar. Celebrated by millions of Buddhists around the world, it marks the birth, enlightenment, and death (Parinirvana) of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.

Gautama Buddha, born Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini (present-day Nepal) in 563 BCE, is respected as the founder of Buddhism. He attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India, and spent his life teaching the path to Nirvana (liberation from the cycle of birth and death) through the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

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Date, Timings and Muhurat

The Vaisakha month in the Buddhist and Hindu calendars, along with the Vikram Samvat calendar, marks Buddha’s moksha and his birth anniversary. The event is calculated based on the lunisolar calendars prevalent in Asia.

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Buddha statue | Image: Unsplash

Usually celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month in the Buddhist calendar, the festival takes place in the regions associated with the Buddha’s life, which is present-day India and Nepal.

The date of Buddha’s birthday varies annually in the Western Gregorian calendar and it usually occurs in April or May. In 2024, this auspicious day falls on Thursday, May 23rd. As per Drik Panchang, Buddha Purnima timings are

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  • Purnima Tithi Begins: May 22, 2024, at 6:47 PM
  • Purnima Tithi Ends: May 23, 2024, at 7:22 PM
  • Auspicious Time for Bathing and Donations: 4:04 AM to 5:26 AM on May 23
  • Auspicious Time for Worshiping Lord Vishnu: 10:35 AM to 12:18 PM

Rituals

Buddha Purnima is celebrated with great reverence and enthusiasm across the globe, particularly in countries with significant Buddhist populations like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

In India, pilgrims throng to Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar, the key sites associated with the Buddha's life. Temples and monasteries are beautifully decorated, and devotees participate in chanting prayers, meditating, and listening to sermons on the Buddha's teachings.

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In Nepal, Buddha's birthplace, Lumbini, becomes a hub of activity, with processions, prayer meetings, and the lighting of butter lamps. In Sri Lanka, colorful lanterns adorn homes and public spaces, and people engage in dana (giving) by distributing food and gifts to the needy.

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Published May 22nd, 2024 at 08:12 IST