Buddha Purnima 23 May 2024: Astrological Significance & Rituals

Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak or Vaishakh, is an important festival across the world, especially for those who follow Buddhism. Though the time & date is uncertain, it is said that the three crucial events of Lord Buddha’s life (birth, enlightenment & salvation) happened on the same day & this coincidence makes this a great day in Buddhism.

Buddha Purnima 23 May 2024: Astrological Significance & Rituals


Buddha Purnima is celebrated as the Birth Anniversary of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. He is the founder of Buddhism and it is a Buddhist festival that is celebrated in most Asian countries. Lord Buddha’s birth is celebrated in the first full Moon of Vaishak Month of the Buddhist calendar, which also holds other significance as well since it is a festival of birthday, enlightenment day and day of his death.

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He is also said to be the 9th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In East Asia, Vietnam and the Philippines, the awakening and death of the Buddha are observed as gazetted holidays.

Buddha Purnima 2024

This day occurs on the Full Moon or Purnima of the Hindu Vaishakh month.

DATE: 23 May 2024, Thursday

History of Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama, in the Shakya Clan. Predictions were made before the birth of Lord Buddha that he will become a Monk and a spiritual leader. In fear of losing his son, Lord Buddha’s father confined him in the palace and he was only allowed to see the outside world after the age of 29.

On his first outside visit, he noticed three things: A man, a dead body and a sick person. These three things made him understand how life is all about sorrow, pain and suffering with a temporary phase.

He left the princely life, travelled into the forest and spent a long six years studying doctrines and undergoing yogic austerities. Buddha Purnima, therefore, stands for peace, non-violence and harmony. It is said that he spent seven weeks in the shade of a Bodhi tree until he reached enlightenment or Nirvana at the age of 80. Then he preached sermons and embarked on missionary travels for 45 years.

Astrological Significance

  • Gautam Buddha’s birth chart consists of Cancer ascendant, Moon in Libra and Sun is placed in Aries. He had 5 planets in the sign of Aries which made him a spiritual and enlightened leader. Moon in Libra filled him with compassion and mercy towards humankind.

Spiritual Significance

  • There is a valley in the heart of the Himalayas, in western Tibet, surrounded by mountains. Near the time of Vaishakh Full Moon, the valley is filled with pilgrims and spiritual aspirants. The spiritual lamas and teachers find their way into the valley and locate themselves in the southern and middle parts, leaving the northern part free.
  • In this way, all the men and women, who are active parts of the Divine Plan on Earth, gather and arrange themselves in a spiritual geometric pattern to manifest the Divine Plan on earth.
  • The geometric pattern is composed of a five-pointed star surrounded by concentric circles. It is believed that in front of the altar rock, the three world teachers stand: Lord Christ, Maitreya, in the center with Lord Manu on his right and Lord Maha Chohan on his left. They face towards the crystal bowl filled with water.
  • Behind the spiritual masters, Arhats, initiates, adepts and senior workers, and world disciples stand. During the exact Vaishak full moon time, they all meditate and achieve calm by chanting the divine mantra.
  • Lord Buddha appears full of light with his hand extending in blessing position. The crystal bowl receives potent energy. The energies and vibrations generated are distributed to manifest the Divine Plan on earth. It is a huge Spiritual event which is performed to elevate the Divine Plan on earth by bringing positive energies to earth.

Buddha Purnima Rituals

Buddha preached calm and asked his disciples to lead the middle path towards a simple and truthful life.

  • Buddha Purnima is all about truth, humanity, peace, and liberation.
  • Embellish a statue of Bodhi Tree with flowers and lights.
  • Pour holy water on the roots of the tree, pray for inner peace.
  • You can wear a white dress and join a meditation group on this day.
  • Fast or eat only vegetarian food on this day.

Follow five principles, also known as ‘Panchsheel’ on the day of Buddha Purnima

1. Not to take life
2. Not to Rob
3. Not to Lie
4. Not to Consume Alcohol
5. Not to Commit Infidelity

Try to maintain the ‘Eightfold Path’ if you wish to welcome peace in your life

1. Right View or Awareness – Knowing the Truth.
2. Right Intention – Free-up your mind from ill thoughts.
3. Right Speech – Avoid hurting others.
4. Right Action – Work for the benefit of others.
5. Right Livelihood – Maintaining ethics in life.
6. Right efforts – Abstain from evil.
7. Right Mindfulness – Practice.
8. Right Concentration – Balance your thoughts.

Remedies to Keep Challenges at Bay

  • Do not eat non-vegetarian food.
  • Donate food and clothes to the underprivileged.
  • Donate sesame and honey for freedom from sins.
  • Go to holy places and have a dip in holy water.
  • Take holy water in your palm and put black sesame seeds and offer it to ancestors.
  • Organize Satyanarayan Katha as Lord Buddha is also deemed as the 9th incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in India?

Buddha Purnima is a public holiday in India. It is celebrated especially in Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bodh Gaya, Lahaul and various parts of North Bengal and other parts of India.

On this day, devotees go to Buddhist temples where they pray and meditate and also help the needy. Sweet rice and porridge are served commonly on this day. The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya in India is decorated with flowers and colours.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in Bangladesh?

It is a public holiday and the event is known as Buddho Purnima. On this day, the President and Prime Minister deliver speech addressing the history and importance of Buddhism and religious beliefs in the country.

Big fairs are organized around the temples where food, clothes and toys are available. People stage performances of Buddha’s life. Monks teach about the Principles of Dharma and the Five Percepts (‘Panchashila’). In the Monastery, the chief Monk delivers a speech on Buddha and the importance of spirituality. People light candles and recite the Three Jewels and Five Precepts.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, Buddha Purnima is a national holiday and is also celebrated as Saga Dawa (Fourth month of the Tibetan calendar). This falls on the full Moon Day, i.e., 15th of the month, with celebrations of three holy events of Buddha’s life: birth, enlightenment and death.

Devotees follow a strict regime by fasting and throughout the Saga Dawa Vesak Month, practice holy, virtuous and ethical activities at homes, temples, monasteries, and public places.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in Cambodia?

In Cambodia, Buddha’s birthday is celebrated as Visak Bochea and is a public holiday. On this day, Monks carry the Buddhist flag, lotus flowers, incense, and candles to acknowledge Vesak.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in Indonesia?

It is celebrated as Vesak and it is a public holiday. A large procession takes place that begins in Mendut in Java and ends at Borobudur – the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in China?

This day is generally and commonly called Fodan, Bathing Buddha Festival. In Buddhist temples, people light incense sticks and bring offerings for the monks. It symbolizes Buddha’s enlightenment, and many people visit the temple to pay respect.

They chant Buddhist sutra and other religious recitation. Buddhist temples hold celebrations and are decorated with Buddhist flags and flowers. Devotees also bring offerings to the temple.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in Japan?

In Japan, Buddha’s birthday is known as Kanbutsu-e, and is held on 8th April. It’s a national holiday. The devotees pour ama-cha (a beverage prepared from Hydrangea serrata) on small Buddha statues decorated with flowers, as if bathing a newborn baby. Lion dancing is a major ceremony practiced during Buddha’s birthday and has become associated with the festival in Japan.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in North Korea?

Buddha’s Birthday is designated as a national holiday in North Korea and is known as Chopali. It is celebrated with traditional fervor in Korean culture and was celebrated in Korea long before the division of the country.

How is Buddha Purnima celebrated in South Korea?

In South Korea, this day is called ‘Bucheo-nim-o-shin nal’, birthday of Sakhyamuni Buddha. Lotus lanterns hang in temples, homes and streets throughout the month. Many temples provide free meals and tea to all visitors and organize a large lantern festival called Yeondeunghoe.

Buddha’s Birthday, a popular festival and folk celebration in Korea, is often celebrated by people of all religious faiths.


Buddha Purnima is also celebrated in other areas like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mangolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. The entire globe receives high vibrational energy on this day.


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