Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world that originated about 2500 years ago in India by Siddhartha Gautam. Followers of Gautam Buddha and Buddhism religion are known as Buddhists. There are around nine major Buddhist festivals that fall in a calendar year. From Mahayana New Year to Vesak to Bodhi Day, the article provides significant information about the important Buddhist Holidays 2023. for more details, keep reading the post.
List of important Buddhist Holidays in 2023
Check out the list of all the important festivals of Buddhists falling in the year 2023 along with their corresponding day and date in the table below.
|Mahayana New Year||January 07, 2023||Saturday|
|Chinese New Year||January 22, 2023||Sunday|
|Nirvana Day||February 15, 2023||Wednesday|
|Magha Puja||March 06, 2023||Monday|
|Theravada New Year||April 06, 2023||Thursday|
|Vesak||May 19, 2023||Friday|
|Asalha Puja||July 03, 2023||Monday|
|Obon||August 13, 2023||Sunday|
|Bodhi Day||December 08, 2023||Friday|
Major Buddhist Holidays
Mahayana New Year
Mahayana New Year is an important festival celebrated by Buddhists all over the world. Mahayana is a term used to describe Buddhist traditions, texts, philosophies, and practices. The date of celebration of Mahayana varies every year as it is observed in accordance with the Tibetan lunar calendar. Mahayana New Year is celebrated on the day of the full moon and in 2023, it will fall on Saturday, January 7.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is celebrated every year according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar and is a major holiday of the Buddhists. People of Buddhism religion celebrate this day by offering prayers to Lord Buddha. The eighth day of the festival, known as Laba holiday is also called as Bodhi day and is a very important day for Buddhism. Chinese New Year 2023 will be observed on Sunday, January 23.
Also check: Hindu Calendar 2023
An important day for Buddhists, Nirvana Day or Parinirvana Day, which celebrates Lord Buddha’s attainment of complete nirvana, also known as parinirvana. To celebrate this day, people visit monasteries to offer prayer and meditate and perform recitation of Nirvana sutra. Nirvana Day is observed every year on February 15 though many celebrate the day on 8 February as well.
Magha Puja is one of the major festivals of Buddhists celebrated every year on full moon day of the third lunar month. Also known as Sangha Day, the holiday celebrates the gathering of Buddha and his first 1250 disciple for the creation of an ideal community. Magha puja started the custom of periodic recitation of discipline by monks. Magha Puja 2023 will be observed on March 6.
Theravada New Year
Theravada New Year marks the birth and death anniversary of Lord Buddha and it is also the day on which he attained enlightenment. This is therefore a very important holiday for Buddhists and is observed three days after the first full moon appears in April every year. Theravada New Year in 2023 will be observed on April 6.
Vesak is the most important festival of Buddhists that commemorates the birth, death and enlightenment of Lord Buddha in all forms of Buddhism. The day is also celebrated as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day. People in different parts of the world celebrate this day with great enthusiasm. Symbolic offering and releasing of birds are some common practices related to Vesak.
Asalha Puja is a Buddhist festival observed on the full moon day of Asadha month. Also known as Asadha Puja or Dharma Day, Asalha is one of Theravada Buddhism’s most important festivals that celebrates Buddha’s first sermon at Sarnath. Donating offerings to temples and listening to sermons are common traditions for this day.
Obon is a Japanese Buddhist tradition for honoring the spirits of the ancestors. To celebrate this day, people visit their ancestral homes, clean up their home altars and wait for their ancestors’ spirita to visit. Obon is similar to Mexico’s Day of the Dead and the Hungry Ghost Festival of China.
Bodhi Day is celebrated to commemorate the enlightenment of Lord Buddha and falls every year on December 8. People celebrate the day with meditation, chanting of religious texts and study of the Dharma. Performing kind acts towards other beings, humans or animals, is also a tradition of Bodhi day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Surprisingly, many Buddhists still celebrate Christmas, but they do so in their own way.