London celebrates the day of Buddha's enlightenment

London celebrates the day of Buddha's enlightenment. Credit: DarshanaPhotoArt/KSDL

Lydia Polzer from Kagyu Samye Dzong London writes about the importance of Buddha's enlightenment and explains how it will be celebrated.

The day of Buddha's enlightenment is known as Wesak by Tibetan Buddhists.

It is celebrated on the 15th day of Saga Dawa, the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar and considered the holiest time of the year.

The entire month of Saga Dawa is seen as a very good time for any Buddhist practice, as the outcomes of any action carried out during this time, good or bad, are considered to be far greater than at other times of the year.

Wesak in particular is seen to be a very auspicious day for good activity. Those Buddhists who aren't vegetarian might refrain from eating meat on that day.

Many people recite prayers during the celebration. Credit: DarshanaPhotoArt/KSDL

They may give donations to monasteries or nunneries. Many recite prayers such as the refuge prayer or mantras such as the Om Mani Padme Hung mantra.

They also give alms to beggars and in some Tibetan communities in India, such as McCleof Gan in Dharamsala, beggars line the streets knowing that there will be many people eager to do a good deed.

Donations and good deeds are made during the time of this celebration. Credit: DarshanaPhotoArt/KSDL

This same day also marks the anniversary of the Buddha's death and in some accounts also his birth.

Kagyu Samye Dzong Buddhist Centre is celebrating today in London.