Buddhist community in Bangladesh celebrates Maghi Purnima

By Karim

DHAKA, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's Buddhist community celebrated Maghi Purnima on Sunday.

This festival is commemorated on the night of the full moon in the month of Magh, the 10th month in the Bengali calendar during winter season, through remembering Gautama Buddha and the announcement of his impending death.

As one of the biggest religious festivals of the Buddhist community, the festival's daylong celebration started with the lighting of lamps and hoisting of national and religious flags atop the monasteries and other religious organizations.

The community also arranged other celebration programs including blood donation, "sangadana" (presentation to the monks), discussions and "panchashila" (prayers).

Special prayers were offered at all monasteries across the country, seeking peace, progress and prosperity of the nation.

Since Sunday morning, hundreds of Buddhists were seen to throng monasteries in Dhaka. They also took part in various rituals and offered fruits, flowers and candles to statues of Lord Buddha who was born on a full moon day in 563 BC.

There are many enjoyable activities that happen during the special occasion such as releasing sky lanterns into the clear moonlit night and followers of the Bahu Chakra (a unique arrangement to prayer).

Traditional fairs were also organized at Bangladesh's Buddhist populated regions.

The day is a public holiday in Bangladesh.

On the occasion, Bangladesh newspapers publish different articles while state-run and private TV channels air special programs highlighting the significance of the day.

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