Buddha Jayanti Celebration in Kathmandu with Varnabas

Buddha Jayanti celebration in Kathmandu

Buddha Jayanti also known as Buddha Purnima is one of the widely celebrated festivals in Nepal. The day of Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and nirvana of Lord Buddha. Every year, Nepal celebrates Buddha Jayanti on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Baisakh or early Jestha, which usually occurs in late April or early May.

Nepal, being the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini, has a distinct and profound connection on this day. In addition to honoring  Lord Buddha, it serves as a reminder of his teachings, which place a strong emphasis on non-violence, compassion, and wisdom.

Life of Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha, earlier known as Siddhartha Gautam was born in the royal Shakya family at Kapilvastu, Lumbini in Nepal. He was born as Prince Siddartha Gautam to King Śuddhodana and Queen Maya. He spent his childhood and youth inside the palace. During this time, he got married to Princess Yāsodharā and had a son named Rahul. One day, while wandering across the city, he came across ill, elderly, and deceased individuals. Unaware of these realities of life, he later understood that life is full of suffering.

 At the age of 29, he left the royal palace and his lavish life in search of the causes of sufferings in life. He started living as a monk and began meditating for enlightenment.  After years of meditation, Lord Buddha was enlightened on the full moon day of Baisakh and found answers to the suffering in life. The answers to the sufferings found by Lord Buddha were called the Four Noble Truths. It is said that Lord Buddha started teaching his knowledge by walking around what is now called Southern Nepal and some parts of India. His teachings made many people enlightened and they became his followers. At the age of 80, after teaching his learning for 45 years he took his last breath on the full moon day of Baisakh. Since, birth, enlightenment, and death all happened on the same day, this day is called Buddha Purnima.

Buddha Jayanti Celebration in Nepal

Buddha Jayanti in Nepal is celebrated with huge passion. Many events are organized at the Buddhist stupas and temples. A huge number of worshippers visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Swayambhunath, and Boudhanath in Kathmandu to be the part of Buddha Jayanti celebration. 

To highlight the philosophy and teachings of Gautam Buddha, the devotees carry out different Pujas and events. Buddha paintings and pictures are on display for the public to see. In Aanandakuti, Bihar, Swayambhu, a relic from Buddha’s corpse, is brought out to pay respect to the followers. The stupas, Bihar, and even the homes are adorned with a variety of colored patterned prayer flags and butter lamps. In 20245, Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on May 23.

Buddha Jayanti Celebration in Lumbini

Lumbini is one the major places of Buddha Jayanti celebration as it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Devotees and worshippers from all over the world arrive at Lumbini to celebrate Buddha Jayanti. The Mayadevi Temple, which symbolizes the exact location where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha, is decorated with butter lamps, flowers, and vibrant flags. Special prayers and meditation sessions are organized, and the air is filled with monks’ and nuns’ chanting of Buddhist scriptures.

One of the events held at Lumbini on Buddha Jayanti includes a chariot procession with a statue of Lord Buddha. The procession is followed by the monks and other devotees chanting prayers and playing traditional instruments.  The atmosphere of Lumbini is filled with the aroma of incense and the peaceful chanting of the people making the place spiritually alive. 

Places to visit to celebrate Buddha Jayanti in Kathmandu

Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa, located in the northwest of Kathmandu Valley, has remained a symbol of faith and peace for countless years. This stupa is said to date back to 460 A.D. and was built by King Manadeva in the 13th century.  Many monasteries surround the majestic and spectacular Stupa. It is the most sacred Buddhist stupa in Nepal. This sacred site attracts a huge number of Buddhists and Hindus throughout the year. Devotees are constantly walking around the stupa.  The largest crowds may be observed during Buddha Purnima when people gather to honor the Lord Buddha. On Buddha Jayanti, a symbol of Budhha’s body called asthi dhatu is displayed at Ananda Kuti Vihar at Swayambhu.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath, commonly known as Boudha, is a stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Boudha stupa is a semicircle-shaped structure that houses Buddha’s relics and remnants. The stupa’s huge mandala ranks it among the world’s largest spherical stupas. UNESCO designated Boudha Stupa as a World Heritage Site in 1979, and it is now one of Kathmandu’s most famous tourist attractions. A Tibetan ruler erected the stupa, which dates back to 600 AD. The stupa is a historical pilgrimage place for Buddhists all around the world. On the day of Buddha Jayanti, different kinds of events and rituals are performed around the shrine. Worshippers and devotees light up butter lamps, burn incense, and chant the prayer to pay respect to Lord Buddha.

Shree Gha Chaitya

Shree Gha Chaitya is a smaller stupa similar to Swayambhunath. The chaitya is said to have been built around 1650 AD. The main stupa is encircled by smaller chaitya inscriptions, statues, and an antique cloister resembling a Tibetan monastery. In front of the stupa, there is an Avalokiteshvara statue. Pilgrims who are unable to attend the Swayambhunath Temple might still benefit from seeing it. The 13 steps on the stupa’s spire represent the 13 stages required to obtain Nirvana. A large number of devotees and visitors visit this chaitya on the day of Buddha Purnima. The locals and worshippers organize various traditional rituals and events on the day of Buddha Jayanti.

Namo Buddha

Namo Buddha is a peaceful and beautiful spot. It is located 40 kilometers from Kathmandu in the Kavre district. This location has one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations, the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery, which is quite ancient. It is recognized as the location where Lord Buddha, as a prince, donated his body to a famished tigress. The surrounding environment is quite pure, the air is fresh, and you can see snow-capped mountains as well as spectacular sunrises and sunsets. It is a popular tourist destination and pilgrimage site. Many pilgrims visit this monastery during Buddha Jayanti for meditation as well as to worship Lord Buddha.

Buddha Jayanti Celebration with Varnabas Museum Hotel

Varnabas Museum Hotel is dedicated to celebrating and promoting the major festivals and natural beauty of Nepal. Buddha Jayanti is another festival on the calendar which is celebrated at Varnabas. Book your stay at the Varnabas Museum Hotel to celebrate this wonderful festival of Buddha Jayanti in Nepal.