When is Buddha Purnima 2024? Know date, history, significance and more

Buddha Purnima 2024
Image Source : FILE IMAGE Buddha Purnima 2024: Date, history, significance and more

Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti, is one of the most important and auspicious festivals celebrated by Buddhists worldwide. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvana), and death (parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. In 2024, Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month, according to the Hindu lunar calendar. Numerous countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, China, Cambodia, and others, along with India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Tibet, celebrate this occasion with great joy and happiness. Let’s delve deeper into the significance, history, and traditions associated with this revered occasion.

Buddha Purnima 2024: Date and Timings

In 2024, Buddha Purnima falls on Thursday, May 23rd. The date varies each year based on the lunar cycles followed in the Buddhist and Hindu calendars. It typically falls in April or May on the first full moon day (Purnima) of the Vaisakha month.

Buddha Purnima 2024 Date: May 23, 2024

Purnima tithi begins – 06:47 PM on May 22, 2024

Purnima tithi ends – 07:22 PM on May 23, 2024

Buddha Purnima 2024: History

Buddha Purnima is a day that honours the birth of Prince Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. According to historical records and traditional beliefs, Gautama Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal, around 563 BCE. Queen Maya Devi, his mother, gave birth to him while travelling to her ancestral home, and his father was King Suddhodana. The Mayadevi Temple and its surrounding gardens, as well as an Ashoka Pillar dating back to ancient times, serve as landmarks at the site of Buddha’s birth in Lumbini.

Bodh Gaya holds great significance for Buddhists as the place where Buddha achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. Other important sites include Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath, where he initially preached Dharma. 

Buddha Purnima 2024: Significance

Birth of Gautama Buddha: Buddha Purnima marks the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who renounced his royal upbringing and embarked on a spiritual quest to understand the cause of human suffering.

Enlightenment: The day also celebrates Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment at Bodh Gaya after years of meditation and self-discovery. It symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, wisdom over ignorance.

Parinirvana: Lastly, Buddha Purnima commemorates Buddha’s passing away, or parinirvana, when he attained final liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Buddha Purnima is a day of reflection, prayer, and meditation for Buddhists. Devotees visit temples, offer prayers, perform puja (ritual worship), and participate in processions. Many light lamps and decorate homes and temples.

The teachings of Buddha, emphasizing non-violence, compassion, and the path to enlightenment, are central to the observances. Charity and acts of kindness are also encouraged on this holy day.

Buddha Purnima 2024: Celebration

Celebrations of Buddha Purnima vary depending on location and Buddhist tradition. Here are some common practices:

Temple visits: Devotees offer flowers, candles, and incense at temples.

Prayers and chanting: Chanting mantras and devotional verses is a core part of the observance.

Meditation: Meditation sessions are held to focus on inner peace and understanding.

Processions: In some regions, people participate in processions with statues of the Buddha.

Lantern lighting: Lighting and releasing lanterns symbolizes letting go of negativity and cultivating inner light.

Acts of charity: Donating food, clothing, or volunteering for good causes is encouraged.