Buddha Jayanti is the festival celebrating the birth, life, enlightenment, and the passing of the Buddha. Nepal is most famous for two things: one is Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, and the other is Gautama Buddha, the man who gained enlightenment and came to be known as the Light of Asia. Therefore, Buddha Jayanti is a very big festival celebrated not just by the Buddhists but also equally by the Hindus and people of other religions in Nepal.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha is, of course, the best place to visit during this festival. The place is crowded with devotees and tourists during this time. From Lumbini, you can also extend your tour to visit places such as Kapilvastu (the place where Buddha spent his first 29 years) and Bodhgaya (the place where Buddha attained enlightenment). If you are in Kathmandu, then you should go to Boudhanath stupa or Swayambhunath stupa to see Buddhist people engaging in various activities.
Buddha Jayanti generally falls in the month of May which is late spring season in Nepal. Therefore, the weather will be very nice during this time. Neither hot nor cold, clear skies and hardly any rain. All this makes this period an ideal time to visit Nepal.
Things you are likely to be engaged in if you participate in this festival:
- Visit the holy places related to Buddha.
- Participate in doing prayers and giving offerings to the Buddha
- Learn about Buddha and Buddhism.
- Participate in sermons given by venerable gurus and lamas.
- Light incense and butter lamps.