Celebrating the Birth of The Buddha
The Tradition of Bathing The Buddha
The Sakyamuni Buddha was born in Lumbini Park, Kapilavatsu in Northern India on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month calendar or on the day of the full moon in May, western calendar. This is one of the most significant dates in the Buddhist religion, on which Buddhists all over the world celebrate the Buddha’s birthday by the tradition of bathing the little Buddha with fragrant water.
According to legend, when Prince Siddhatta (The Buddha) was born, nine heavenly dragons appeared and emitted the purest water to cleanse the newly born Prince. The baby Prince then walked seven steps, at each of which a lotus flower sprang from beneath his feet. With the right hand pointing towards the sky and the left towards the ground, He said, “Heaven above and earth beneath, I am the Honoured One, the One who liberates all who suffer in the Three Realms.”
The tradition of bathing The Little Buddha is a symbol of inner purification. It is believed that the act of bathing the Buddha can help with the purgation of our sins. A universal message is that: we can simply wash away the physical dirt on our bodies, but we can’t cleanse all the inner dirt of greed, anger and ignorance.
For the bathing ceremony the altar is arranged as a flower garden, representing the Garden of Lumbini . In following with the tradition, monks, nuns, and Buddhist believers use a special ladle to pour fragrant water steeped with special herbs or rose petals over the statue of the infant Buddha.