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The Magha Puja Day

The Full-moon in the month of February


It is to celebrate the Buddha’s great Exhortations and honour the Sangha, the Buddhist community. The celebration offers people a chance to reaffirm their faith and commitment to Buddhist practices and traditions.


The Magha puja is a short form of Maghapunnamipuja, worship on the full moon day of Magha month. Maghapunnamipuja (magha+punnami+puja) gets its name from Magha: the name of the third month in lunar calendar;

Punnami meaning the full moon day, and Puja meaning to pay respect or to worship. So, Magha Puja means to worship or pay respect in the third month of lunar calendar. Normally, it falls on the day of the full moon in the month of February. It commemorates the significant events in the dispensation of the Buddha that has four signs.

(1) the 1,250 enlightened monks were assembled

(2) All monks were ordained by the Buddha directly (Ehi Bhikkhu category)

(3) They came to join together in one place without prior appointment

(4) It was the Full moon day of Magha lunar month and the Buddha gave the instruction called Ovadapatimokkha.

These four event together are also known as Caturasannipata among the Buddhists. Equally important is the fact that is also believed that the confirmation of the two chief disciples of the Buddha and the announcement of entering Mahaparinibbana of the Buddha in three months also happened to be on the full moon day of Magha lunar month.


On this occasion all Buddhists pay respect by commemorating the two events of the Caturassannipata and the Parinibbana decision by Lord Buddha. Moreover, they offer food to the monks, and engage in making merit on a grand scale. Then they go to the monasteries and observe the Five Precepts and listen to a sermon. In the evening, people participate in the Candlelight Ceremony. They assemble on the monastery grounds with flowers, incense sticks, and light candles in their hands and chant recollections of the Buddha and his loving kindness to all beings of the world. Paying respect to the Triple Gem is not enough but one also needs to keep practising and following the three principles of Buddhism: Not to do any bad deeds, to do good and to cleanse the mind of impurities.

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