Festivals and Retreats

Festivals and Retreats in Buddhism

Wesak (Buddha Day)

  • Celebrated on the first full moon in May, Wesak is observed to commemorate the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death.
  • Buddhists may observe this day with extended meditation, chanting sutras, and making offerings at temples.

Obon (Festival of the Dead)

  • Held either in mid-July or mid-August, Obon is a Japanese Buddhist festival to honour departed ancestors.
  • Practices during Obon include setting out food offerings, dancing (Bon Odori), and floating lanterns on water to guide spirits.

Buddhist Retreats

Meditation Retreats

  • Retreats involve temporarily leaving everyday life to focus on meditation and mindfulness practises.
  • Devotees may engage in extended periods of silent meditation, group chants, and dharma talks.

Monastic Retreats

  • Some may choose longer retreats at monastic communities, fully engaging in the Buddhist way of life.
  • Activities could include chores (work meditation), silent meals, and full participation in the monastic schedule.