Buddha Jayanti / Purnima
Location: All over Nepal
Date: May 9th, 2009
Buddha Jayanti celebrates the three most important events in Gautam Buddha’s life: his birth, his attainment of enlightenment and ‘nirvana’ or his departure from the mortal world. It is widely celebrated on a full moon night in Baisakh (April / May).
A fair is held in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. There are celebrations in Swayambhunath, Bodhnath and Patan. There are also mask dances in Swayambhunath stupa. There are prayers, sermons and non-stop recitations of Buddhist scriptures resonate in monasteries, religious halls and stupas around the country, especially in Lumbini. People offer incense, flowers, candles and fruits. The Banyan tree , called the Bodhi tree for its part in Buddha’s enlightenment, also receives floral garlands and colorful prayer flags adorn it. People also sprinkle milk and scented waters on its roots and light rows of lamps around it.
Tiji (mask dance)
Location: Mustang, Lo- Manthang
Date: 20th – 23rd May
The annual Tiji Festival at Lo – Manthang is a prayer ceremony during which monks put on masks representing divine beings and perform ritual dances. Spectators come from villages all over Lo- Manthang. It is a colorful festival that takes place in the most spectacular of settings. The festival lasts for four days and is well attended by devotees in order to be blessed and to gain merit (sonam).The people of Mustang celebrate this festival by donning their traditional finery.
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