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Buddhist Holidays

Buddha's Birthday Celebration
The biggest celebration in the Buddhist' world. It falls into 8th day of the fourth month by lunar calender according to the Mahayana tradition. In 2013 we celebrate on Saturday and Sunday of May 18-19.

The Sunday is dedicated to religious events. After morning meditation everyone in the service have speical opportunity to bathe the baby Buddha while chanting Shakamuni Buddha. Three-refuge Taking and Blessing of Children signifies the Buddhist tradition to honor all the children for future Buddhas. In the Sunday afternoon public can enjoy the free talk; demonstration on Zen Meditation.

Buddha's Birthday Celebration ends with the lovely Lotus Lantern Lightings and Chanting Service. We encourage people to dedicate lanterns during the Celebration. This is an old traditional Buddhist custom. Buddhists dedicate their lanterns to renew their commitment to help themselves and others attain enlightenment, to gain spiritual strength for their problems, or for the peace of the world and happiness of all beings, or on behalf of or in memory of a family member or friend.

Lantern Dedication

"Be ye lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp."

Lantern dedication is an old traditional Buddhist custom to dedicate a lantern on Buddha¹s Birthday. Buddhists dedicate their lanterns to renew their commitment to help themselves and others attain enlightenment, to gain spiritual strength for their problems, or for the peace of the world and happiness of all beings, or on behalf of or in memory of a family member or friend. The dedication is personaly written on a piece of paper which is then attached to the lantern. Buddha's Birthday is a special occasion, so along with a lantern dedication it is a custom to make a special donation to the temple in order to express one¹s gratitude and support the good work. Dedicate lanterns to parents, grand-parents, children, relatives, friends, a lover, spouse, partner or yourself. Dedicate lanterns to those who are deceased, ill or in difficulties and hardships. Dedicate lanterns to people in incarceration, those who live in hatred or to your pets. Express your gratitude, let your good will prevail, send your prayer and good wishes, show that you love and care. Make reconciliation, seek forgiven or send a message of hope conveying words of love and compassion. Remember people who helped and inspired you and give them your thanks and love. Open your heart and celebrate life. Please feel free to make your own dedication and prayer and mail them with your donation to the Zen Buddhist Temple. It is a beautiful experience to view the lanterns and sing "My mind is Buddha".
If you like to dedicate a lantern please write your dedication letter and mail it to the temple with a donation (suggested $30 for individual; $50 for family; $10 for child)

Buddha's Enlightenment Day
Buddha's Enlightenment Day celebrates the three days that Siddhartha Gautama sat under the bodhi tree in India and attained enlightenment, or awakening. On the third day of unbroken sitting more than 2500 years ago, he awoke and saw the world and, after some prodding by associates, began to teach others. Thus, he became the Buddha (the Pali word for teacher). This sitting in January (on the 8th day of the 12th month by lunar calender, Friday night of December 30, 2011) is a remembrance of that, a quiet, calming way to take note that one already has everything one needs. You don't have to spend the whole night and can come for as little as two hours (please arrive at 8 pm or 10 pm). If you arrive at midnight or would like to stay beyond midnight, we kindly ask that you stay until 4 am, to avoid disrupting others. The event is open to all; a donation is requested. Jan. 10, 2014

  • 8-10 pm, first sitting
  • 10 pm, Special Ceremony
  • 10 pm-Midnight, second sitting
  • Midnight-4 am, third sitting

Buddha's Parinirvana Day
Celebrate the Buddha's Great Passing into the perfect Nirvana. The second full moon day by lunar calender. Sunday March 24, 2013

Ullambana Day
The Buddhist memorial day for the deceased. Pray for the peace and happiness of those who passed away before us and wish them a rightful place among the living and release from suffering in their next rebirth. Prior consultation and appointment necessary. Eighth full moon day by lunar calender. Also coincide with the end of summer 3 month rain retreat. Sunday August 18, 2013.

kindling the light of wisdom heart
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© 2007 Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom