Bodhi Day is celebrated annually on December 8th in Japan. The bodhis are called enlightenments of the Buddha. Surprisingly, the holiday is celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar.
Buddha’s original name was Gautama Shakyamuni: he was an ordinary guy who lived in a house with his parents. At the age of 29, he wanted to be enlightened, to become closer to the Almighty. After his birthday, he left the territory of his palace and went to comprehend peace. He had to give up his home, family and all human benefits. Buddha studied meditation, begged for alms. Despite seclusion, he could not achieve peace, so he vowed that he would sit under a tree until he reached nirvana.
When the Buddha was 35 years old, he achieved awakening. The tree under which he sat was called “Bodhi”. The Enlightened One describes 3 stages of awakening. At the first, he saw the past, all the bodies in which he had lived before. The second stage told the Buddha about the importance of life and how to exist correctly. At the last stage, the man comprehended the truth.
- the holiday is celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month;
- the tree under which the Buddha sat has not survived;
- in memory of the Buddha, ficuses are planted in monasteries, as they are considered sacred plants;
- On December 8, people in Japan decorate trees with lanterns.
How to celebrate
On Bodhi Day, believers visit temples, turn to the Buddha statue, worship the sacred tree, repeat Buddhist texts, and meditate. Tea and cakes are put on the tables, and during the meal I read the scriptures. On this day, the trees around are filled with healing power, able to show the way to tranquility.
When is Bodhi Day celebrated in 2022?
Bodhi Day is observed on December 8 each year.