Buddha Jayanti (Baisakh Purnima/Poornima)Tommorrow, Baisakh Purnima(a fullmoon night) also known as 'Buddha Jayanti'(in Nepali)according to Nepalese calendar has very special meaning and considered as a great holy day among all Buddhist communities around the world. Every Baisakh Purnima of the month is celebrated as the day of the Lord Buddha's Birthday, Enlightenment and Nirvana. Our Lord Buddha took birth on this very day, got supreme wisdom(enlightenment) and Got Nirvana(mokcha) on this very day. It's been already 2550 years since then and tommorrow, it's divine 2551th times of years, we're going to celebrate this holy occasion.
Needless to say, Lord Buddha is icon figure for Peace,compassion and non-violence. His devotees and followers always have to consider his divine lessons to catch his path. The quality of being compassionate towards other setient-being is the true quality of being Buddhist. One is not allowed to think otherwise which may harm others emotionally or physically.
This day is celebrated according to the respective rituals of the differect sect of Buddhism around the world. Here in Kathmandu, we've two stupas of great ancient values,One is Boudhanath Stupa and other one is Swayambhu. Since Lord Buddha is born in Lumbini, Nepal,places like those are where Buddhist devotees flock on this very day. On this day, lots of prayings for world-peace, well beings of every sentient beings are wished and lots of offerings are made by raising Prayers flags and reciting prayers messages. We even show care for them who passed away by lightening butter lamps. On these very day, to my experience, both stupas are decorated very well and at night it looks very divine and glorious. It's the time when many reporters and professional photographers take pictures of this great moment. If someone doesn't belong to Buddhism, it's the time even for them to witness how we celebrate that great day and can pray for peace and well-being of every sentient being(not only humans but every living beings from insects to birds living in land and water) .In addition to that, we also revolve around the stupas clockwise and recites divine matra continuosly, this is called 'KORA'. Some devotees do circling stupas just by prostrating instead of walking. we've great meaning of doing this. This simply reduces our sins committed for every 'KORA' done and increases value of our good deed. In nepali , it's like "dharma kamaunu,paap ghataunu". On this very day, One KORA equals to many KORA. So, no wonder if anyone sees maximum devotees revolving around the stupa on this day.
So, i just wrote about the celebration made by our sect. The things i described are followed by Tibetans,Sherpas,Yolmowas,Tamangs etc. There are other Buddhist sect like Newar buddhism,Sri-Lankan buddhism, they have different rituals than ours and to be truth, i'm not quite aware of their rituals. Whatever it is, we feel blessed to be able to celebrate our Lord's day of enlightenment and birth. Let's pray , Lets wish. Let there be peace all around the world !!!