Buddha Purnima today

The Daily Star, May 21, 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh -- Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist community, will be observed today in Dhaka and elsewhere across the country.

Like other countries in the world, the Buddhist community in Bangladesh has taken up elaborate programmes, including colourful processions, puja, discussions and cultural functions, to mark the day.

The day is a public holiday.

According to Buddhism, the emergence of Lord Buddha took place on this day 2,559 years ago. Lord Buddha was born on the full moon day in 563 BC (Before Christ), attained supreme enlightenment and passed away on the same day.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages on the eve of the day, greeted members of the Buddhist community as well as people of the country.

Besides, leaders of different political and socio-cultural organisations also greeted the people of the Buddhist community on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

On the occasion, newspapers will publish different articles while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television (BTV) and private TV channels will broadcast special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.

The celebrations will start with lighting of lamps and hoisting of the national and religious flags atop the Mohabihar and chanting of sacred verses from their religious book Tripitaka.

As part of the day's programme, people of the Buddhist community will bring out a colourful procession from Sabujbagh Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery and end it on Mugda Stadium premises after parading the main thoroughfares in the capital around 8:00am.

Bangladesh Buddhist Federation will organise a day-long programme at Sabujbagh Dharmarajika Buddha Maha Bihar in the city.