Bodhi Day - December 8
Fri Dec 8th

Bodhi Day

Buddhists observe the day that Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment by meditation on December 8th each year. Bodhi means awakening or enlightenment.

Siddhartha Gautama, Buddhism's founder, is commonly known as the Buddha. Siddhartha, the former Indian prince, had to trade his life of luxury for a much simpler one. Many believe Siddhartha began to sit under a Bodhi tree and meditate until he found the source of pain and how to free himself from it.

It took 49 days of unbroken meditation to begin. Siddhartha became a Buddha after being enlightened and experiencing Nirvana, or "Awakened One." Buddha's enlightenment has been the central tenant of the Buddhist faith for 2,500 years.

In Gaya, India, the Bodhi tree grows along the banks of the Fal River. A Buddhist temple is also located there. Buddhists visit it as their most sacred site of pilgrimage.

How to celebrate #bodhiday

Although the day honors the founder of the Buddhist faith, the day also commemorates the ways of enlightenment. The Buddha's name is not paraded or fanfare herald the name of the Buddha is passed around city streets. Some people like tea and cookies. Others decorate a Bodhi tree. For the most part, it's a day of meditiation. And if you are not Buddhist, you can still participate in this day.

  • Learn more about the Buddhist faith
  • Tina Turner, Kate Hudson, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, and Tiger Woods all became Buddhists
  • To signify Buddha's enlightenment, Light candles or put up brightly colored lights
  • Mindfulness in Plain English is one of the many books on Buddhism, including Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, Taking the Path of Zen, and Mindfulness in Plain English
  • Watch documentaries about Buddha, including The Story of Siddhartha and Angry Monk

#BodhiDay is a hashtag that can be used on social media.

Bodhi day history

Some Buddhists commemorate Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death all in one day. They observe the lunar calendar to prepare for the observance of the observance. Vesak is the Russian calendar. Mahayana Buddhists in China, Korea, and Vietnam break up Vesak into three separate holy days. One of the three days includes Buddha's enlightenment or Bodhi Day. On the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar, Mahayana Buddhists observe Bodhi Day, which means the dates change from year to year.

Bodhi Day in Japan follows the Gregorian calendar, but not in Japan. Emperor Meiji, who started the westernization of Japan when he reigned from 1867 to 1912, started the westernization of Japan. Every year, Bodhi Day in Japan is celebrated on December 8th. It's not known what year it was that it became a day of observance.