The 2,562nd Buddha Jayanti is being observed today, wishing for world peace by organising special worships, singing hymns and holding discourses.
Buddha Jayanti commemorates the day Lord Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and died. It falls on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Baishakh. Buddhists throughout the world celebrate the day paying obeisance to Lord Buddha.
Devotees especially throng Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Rishi Pattan and Kushinagar on this day. These places are the four major pilgrimage sites of Buddhists. Lumbini is where Lord Buddha was born, Bodhgaya is the place where he attained enlightenment, Rishipattan is the place where he started giving sermons and Kushinagar is the place where he died.
According to The Himalayan Times, the government first declared Buddha Jayanti as a public holiday on May 22, 1951. Animal sacrifices were prohibited on this day in Lumbini since February 19, 1956. The United Nations has also been observing Buddha Jayanti as a public holiday since 2002. The day is also marked in various parts of the world to spread the message of peace, harmony and non-violence.
Thousands of devotees throng Boudhanath Stupa, Swoyambhunath Stupa and other Buddhist shrines in Kathmandu Valley to pay homage to Lord Buddha. Similarly, rallies will also be organised to spread the message of peace and non-violence.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has wished for peace, prosperity and good health of all Nepalis, including Buddhists, at home and abroad. “I hope that Buddha’s teachings will inspire all Nepalis to maintain peace and order by strengthening tolerance among people of various caste, creed and religion,” she said in a message.