Buddhist New Year

Buddhist New Year celebration is generally held on an auspicious sight of the first full moon in January. As we all know Buddhism is more like a concept, a concept towards a pure and pristine world with peace than just a religion; this celebration is seen throughout the world.

When and where it is celebrated

Buddhism is mostly practised in Northeast Asia — China, Japan, Tibet, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Korea. In Buddhism, there are two major branches: Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism. Each branch prepares for the New Year in its own traditional way, but in both branches, this New Year is celebrated with one ultimate goal to make use of the opportunity of enlightenment.

How people celebrate

As stated earlier that the Mahayana New Year dates differ for each country based on their customs and some Mahayana Buddhists observe the celebration on January 1 alongside the Gregorian New Year, while others wait for the full moon of January, but in modern times the latter is preferred and observed more often. The celebration is practised with an extensive prayer honouring the Buddhism gods. People show their gratitude and respect for the gods by bathing their idols. Temples are visited on the Buddhist New Year, and children sing spiritual songs to the deities which are considered as few of the major things to be done on this occasion. In many houses, candles are lit and lamps are placed on doors as a symbol of good luck for the New Year. 

Features and Significance of the Day

This Celebration signifies a sacred start of a fresh year with a hope to enlighten people’s life with bliss and fortune. It is believed that the Buddhist New Year is a time for introspection and self-reflection as people will try to learn from their past mistakes to make themselves better each year, to find the best version of themselves.

Houses are cleaned and decorated with new things as a symbol of prosperity and families buy gifts for each other to enjoy this special day with great joy. This celebration also features a traditional meal at the end of the day which is considered a grand feast. And finally, fireworks are launched in the sky at midnight which signifies exile of darkness from life and surroundings.

This is certainly a very important celebration which is as big as the Gregorian New Year, and one of the many New Years’ celebrated over the year around the world! It gives a chance for self-awareness and reflection with a trail of grand celebration with a hope for a better future in the twilight of a fresh prosperous year.