Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the day of full moon in the month of Baisakh (April to May) according to lunar calendar. This particular day has a great significance as it is not only the birth day of Buddha but it also happens to be the day he was able to attain enlighten and nivana.
Buddha Jayanti is one of the significant festivals of Nepal and in Buddhism. This day is celebrated all over the world especially in south-east Asia where there are people who follow the teachings of Gautam Buddha like India, Burma, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam and Tibet. Buddha Jayanti is known by various other names such as Swanyapunhi in Nepal Bhasa, Buddha Purnima or Baisakha Purnima in India, Vesak in Sri Lanka, Puspa Purnima in Bangladesh, and Visakha Bucha in Thailand and Full Moon Day of Kason in Burma.
On this day various stupas (memorial shrines), gompas/viharas (monasteries) in Nepal hold different religious and cultural programs such as sermons, meditation, reading Buddhists scriptures and sutras, worshiping Buddha, retelling of his life story and why he is the greatest benefactor of humanity, circling prayer wheels etc. There are also other activities like processions, doing noble deeds like helping the poor with food and aid, handing out medicines to the sick and blood donations in memory of Buddha.
Buddha Jayanti is not celebrated exclusively because it’s his birthday but to remember his virtues, his teachings and what he did for humanity. Buddha led his teachings by example and not with just words. This is how so called spiritual leaders of today need to remember and embrace his teachings so they could steer their followers onto the right path to seek salvation from the sufferings that comes from the living.