Buddha Jayanti is a special day for both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal. On this day people celebrate the life of Lord Buddha; his Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana (Death).
Lumbini, in the western Terai plains of Nepal, is the place where Prince Siddhartha (known as the Buddha) was born. The newly-born Prince is believed to have taken seven steps and uttered a timeless message to all humanity. It is believed that this happned in the beautiful Sal grove, which is now the focal point of the Lumbini Garden area.
As per widely held beliefs, Maya Devi, the Queen of Shakya King Suddhodhana of Kapilvastu, gave birth to the Prince Siddhartha while passing through the Lumbini Garden, on the day of "Vaishakha Poornima" (full-moon day of May) in 623 BC.
The Queen is believed to have taken a bath in Pushkarini (the Sacred Pond) and taken support of a tree branch in anticipation of the delivery, before giving birth to the little infant, who went on to become the Buddha.
Lumbini - the birthplace, Tilaurakot or Kapilvastu - where Buddha spent his first 29 years, Devdaha - his maternal home, and other sacred places and monasteries all over Kathmandu and Nepal, are crowded with devotees on the day of Buddha Jayanti.
In Kathmandu valley, Buddhists of all persuasions as well as pilgrims from abroad, honor the Buddha at the two great stupas Swyambhunath, Boudhanath and the largely Buddhist city of Patan. Activities at the main Buddhist stupas and shrines begin at dawn and continue till late in the evening.
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