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Buddha Day Festival, known as Kason Pwe in Burmese, falls on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month in mid April or May. This is one of the biggest celebrations for Buddhists because it marks four important events of Buddha’s life.
This is the day Buddha was prophesied to become the next Buddha; the day Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC; the day he attained of supreme wisdom in 588 BC and the day he entered Parinirvana in 543 BC (the complete extinction of his self at the age of 80.)
Buddha Day, well-known as Buddha Purnima in India, is celebrated in Sarnath, Gaya ,Kushinagar and other parts of India and these days all around the World. On Buddha Day prayers, sermons and recitations of Buddhist scriptures are performed by Buddhists at the temple. Devotees also offer fruit, flowers and candles to statues of Lord Buddha.
Buddhism originated in India and the religion has gained popularity in Southeast Asia and the Far East. Burmese celebrate Buddha Day (Kason Festival) by watering the sacred Bodhi tree at pagodas to mark the day Lord Buddha obtained Enlightenment sitting under the Bodhi Tree. During the ceremony, Monks and devotees chant Paritta verses and recite poems praising the Lord Buddha. Then the devotees carry pots of water, like when Eugenia sprang with flowers and water to pour on the scared Bodhi tree.
To commemorate Buddha Day in London, Burmese society including many Monks, organised a ceremony on 6th of May at Chiswick Town Hall. Being a Buddhist, I attended the ceremony and took part in doing good merits on the special day. The ceremony began by offering Swan (lunch) to Monks and all attendants in the morning, then saying prayers, reciting Buddha Paritta Verses, followed by drama depicting one of Buddha’s births stories, Wu Du Ra. I hope you will enjoy these photos to share my enjoyment of that day.