This year on the occasion of Buddha Purnima aka Gautam Buddha Jayanti, worshippers were missing at Swayambhunath Stupa due to the nationwide lockdown put in place and the government's strict directive to stay away from places hosting mass gathering. This resulted in fewer footfalls in the Buddhist shrine in Kathmandu, that is enlisted in World Heritage Site.
Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Baisakh of the Lunar Calendar every year. Born in Lumbini of Nepal, Gautam Buddha, profounder as well as the messenger of non-violence and peace is remembered on this day.
"This time due to the pandemic, people couldn't come here which has decreased the flow of people. In earlier years worshippers use to come on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti but this year the flow is low due to the epidemic," Keshang Lyamo told ANI after performing prayers at Swayambhunath Stupa.
Buddhists from Nepal and other countries has been celebrating the day wishing for peace and tranquility in the world but this year it remained almost absent from public view.
"This year- Baisakh Day- celebrated with great pump and vigor earlier years, organizing international conferences made us unable to celebrate on the way of before," Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said in his message on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.
The Prime Minister further mentioned that Nepal has reported relatively low infection rate of COVID-19 but shouldn't be careless regarding the precautions needed to be taken.
"Due to the effective plans and decisions made on by the government, the condition in Nepal hasn't turned sinister. But there are some signs and symptoms signalizing it to be serious. If we don't adopt precautions, aren't prepared on our own for the containment, an inclusive understanding this pandemic can turn the condition grimmer, so we need to be aware about it," PM Oli said while warning about the COVID-19 situation in Nepal.
Nepal till date has registered 99 cases of Coronavirus with 22 successful recoveries.
(With inputs from agency)