Holidays and Regular Observances

Are there days devoted to other aspects of Buddhist teaching?

On the full moon day of the third lunar month of Magha, some Buddhists commemorate Buddha’s teaching of the monastic disciplinary code called the Vinaya. Thais celebrate by circumambulating the chaitya and listening to a sermon in the temple. Theravada Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s first sermon on the full moon day of Asadha (eighth lunar month) by revering the scriptural text. Some schools celebrate days dedicated to their central scriptures. For example, the denomination named after the Japanese reformer Nichiren (1222-1282) honors the Lotus of the Good Law Sutra, as do other groups in China and Japan. Monasteries typically celebrate anniversaries of their founding and in some countries a festive day marks the anniversary of Buddhism’s arrival with the first missionaries. Members of the Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land) sect remember their founder Shinran (1173-1262) on the 16th of each month, and with a week-long memorial every year in either January or November.


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