"Not to commit any sin, to do good and to purify
one's mind, this is the teaching of the awakened ones."
Buddhist Festivals are the days for joy and celebration commemorating some significant events related to lord Buddha. Apart from religious significance, Buddhist Festivals also imparts an opportunity for the people to meet and meditate in local temple or monastery. The principal Buddhist festivals celebrate 'the Three Jewels', the Buddha, the Dharma (the Buddhist Teaching), and the Sangha (the spiritual community).
The Buddha's Enlightenment is the central event in Buddhism, thus the celebration of that Enlightenment, is the most important festival of the Buddhist year. It is celebrated on the full moon of May/June. In the monastery, people usually offer meal to the sangha in the morning and this is responded to by the sangha offering various blessings. They meet and share various aspects of life-meditation-religion etc, also known as Visakah Puja or Buddha day, it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha on the one day.
Dharma Day: the Celebration of the Buddha's Teaching
This day people pay homage to the Buddha's teachings which started at Sarnath. It usually falls on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month, approx. July. It commemorates the Buddha's first teaching to the five ascetics at the Deer Park (Sarnath) near Benares city, India. On Dharma day there are often readings from the Buddhist scriptures and a chance to reflect deeply on their contents. It is also known as Asalha Puja.
Sangha Day: the Celebration of Spiritual Community
Also known as Magha Puja, it takes places on the full moon day of the third lunar month in March. This holy day is observed to commemorate an important event in the life of the Buddha. This event occurred early in the Buddha's teaching life. It celebrates the assembly of 1250 enlightened saints, without prior call, when lord Buddha visited Rajgir after his first sermon at Sarnath.
Kathina Ceremony: the Robe offering ceremony
It takes place within one month of the conclusion of the Vassa Retreat, and usually the gathering of people offer new robes and other requisites to the monks.
Buddhist Festivals in Leh Ladakh (Monastic Festivals)