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Buddha's Birthday




The birthday of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama is a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism.

While the date of this holiday varies depending on sect, April 8 marks the birth of the Buddha for many Buddhists.

When Japan changed from the traditional lunar calendar, Japanese Buddhists adopted April 8 as the official date to mark the Buddha’s birth and the celebration referred to as hanamatsuri, or “flower festival,” occurring when the sakura (cherry blossom trees) bloom.

8th Day of the 4th Month

In all east Asian countries, except Japan beginning in 1873, Buddha's Birthday is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month on the Chinese lunar calendar.
The date varies  from April to June on the Gregorian calendar.

Buddha's Birthday is an official holiday in Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea.

2017 celebration dates outside Japan:
May 3
Hong Kong, India, Macau, Myanmarand South Korea, Sri-Lanka
May 10 Nepal
May 14 Taiwan



South Korea

South Koreans celebrate Buddha's Birthday with a week-long festiival marked by colourful displays and ceremonies at temples.

Special activities often include a procession of Buddha images and children dressed as Buddhist deities as part of the displays. Monks lead some parades and everyone is free to attend the ceremonies at temples to pay their respects and join in with the prayers and chanting.

Nepal

Buddha’s birthday (Buddha Jayanti) falls on the first full day of the first month of the Hindu lunar calendar, and is celebrated by Hindus as well as Buddhists. It is observed at Buddhist shrines and monasteries throughout Nepal, but a particularly grand ceremony is held at Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, on the Terai.
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