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Holidays and Observances

This guide provides information about diverse cultural celebrations and religious holidays. It includes calendars and brief descriptions of the events. This resource can assist in event planning and classroom activities.

Buddhist Holidays and Observances

Bodhi Day —  This day commemorates the day when Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, attained enlightenment.


Magha Puja Day -- Commemorates the day when 1,250 Arahants, the enlightened disciple monks, spontaneously came to see the Lord Buddha, who ordained them and preached a sermon on the fundamental ideology,  moral standards, and the conducts of Buddhism.


New Year's Day -- Many Buddhists observe the Chinese New Year celebration.  Mahayana Buddhists and Theravada Buddhists, however, celebrate the New Year on other days. So the Buddhist celebration is generally dependent on the country of origin or ethnic background.

   Individuals may require time away from campus for travel and observance of the Buddist New Year.


Wesak or Buddha Day — The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha . This is the most important Buddhist festival.

Observers are encouraged to refrain from slaughtering and eating meat on this date.  Provide food accommodations as requested and offer vegetarian options for events on this date.  


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