Parinirvana Day in Bhutan Date in the current year: June 17, 2019

Parinirvana Day in Bhutan According to Buddhist tradition, at the age of 80, Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) reached parinirvana, the final state after the death of the body that implies a release from the Saṃsāra, karma and rebirth. Most Buddhists celebrate Parinirvana Day that commemorates this event on February 8 or 15. However, in Bhutan it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th month of the Bhutanese calendar.

The state religion of Bhutan is Vajrayana, also known as Tantric Buddhism or Esoteric Buddhism. Naturally, some of the major Buddhist holidays, including Parinirvana Day, are celebrated as public holidays. Bhutan has its own lunisolar calendar based on the Tibetan calendar, so the dates of the traditional holidays change every year.

Parinirvana Day in Bhutan is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th month. It is dedicated to the end of Gautama Buddha’s earthly life. According to Buddhist tradition, when the Buddha turned 80, he announced that he would soon rich the final nirvana (parinirvana) and abandon his earthly body. After achieving the deathless state of parinirvana, his earthly body was cremated.

On Parinirvana Day, Bhutanese Buddhists read passages from the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, also known as the Nirvana Sutra, describing the last days of the Buddha’s life. They also visit Buddhist monasteries and temples, meditate, and reflect on their own future death and on the deaths of their loved ones.

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