Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist community, will be observed in the country on Sunday.
Buddha Purnima is a festival that marks Gautam Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May.
On this day in 563 BC, Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautam in Kopilabostu at the foothill of the Himalayas. He attained supreme enlightenment at the age of 35 and finally departed into ‘nirvana’ at the age of 80 in 483 BC.
Different Buddhist organisations have chalked out various programmes to celebrate the day. The day is a public holiday.
The programmes include recitation of sacred verses from the Tripitak and breaking of fast by the monks.
Mass prayers, blood donation, ‘sangadana’ (presentation to the monks), discussion, ‘panchashilla’ (prayer) and pradip puja will also be held.
Special prayers will be offered at the monasteries across the country seeking peace, progress and prosperity of the Buddhist community as well as the nation.
To mark the day, the national dailies will bring out special articles while Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television will air special programmes highlighting the importance of the festival.
Buddha Purnima will also be celebrated in Chittagong Hill Tracts and Cox’s Bazar in a befitting manner.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in separate messages, greeted the Buddhist community on the occasion.
In his message, the President said “Goutam Buddha preached for parity and harmony throughout his life to build a peaceful world.” He also expressed hope that the Buddhist community will continue their efforts for the development of the country.
In her message, the Premier said “We will be able to place Bangladesh as a peaceful and rich country in the global stage being inspired by the messages of equality, friendship and non-violence of Gautam Buddha.”