> Main Buddhist Festivals
Main Buddhist Festivals
Many Buddhists consider participation in festivals and celebrations an important aspect of Buddhist practice. In addition to the religious background, some festivals have social and cultural features. Since the celebrations have developed in different countries, and over long periods of time, there are variations. The dates relate to the lunar calendar in some countries and the Gregorian calendar in others. Again, the same event may be celebrated on different dates in different countries. Some festivals, such as those marking the birth, Enlightenment, and passing away of Gotama / Sakyamuni Buddha are common to all traditions, while others are specific to certain traditions or countries. There are numerous festivals, and those mentioned here are the more important national festivals in Mahayana (M), Theravada (Th) and Tibetan (T) Buddhism.
NB. In the United Kingdom, (1) When the festival falls on a week day, it is generally celebrated on the nearest week end, and (2) The Vesak, Buddha Day, festival celebration in May seems to have the most number of participants.
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