Vesak: Breaking the Cycle

Quick Facts Summary: a Buddhist festival celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha 2019 Date: 19th May, but dates vary Celebrated by: Buddhists (predominantly Theravada), some countries as a National Holiday Linked Holidays: Buddha’s Birthday, Bodhi Day (Buddhism) Background and Theological Significance Vesak, also known as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima or simply ‘Buddha […]

Asalha Puja: Teaching Begins

Quick Facts Summary: a Theravada Buddhist festival commemorating the Buddha’s first sermon   2018 Date: 27th July   Celebrated by: Theravada Buddhists, Thailand (as a National Holiday)   Linked Holidays: Vesak   Background and Theological Significance Asalha Puja, also known as Asanha Bucha or Dharma Day, is an annual Buddhist festival that celebrates the first […]

Hungry Ghost Festival: Ancestors of Community

Quick Facts Summary: A festival month in East Asia in which people leave food and offerings for ancestors and others who have are suffering in the afterlife.   2018 Date: August 25. The Seventh month of the East Asian Lunar Calendar.   Celebrated by: Buddhists, Taoists, Chinese and East Asian societies.   Linked Holidays: Sweeping […]

When Monks Take a Break

by Raymond Pagnuccio From sunrise to sunset the life of a Buddhist monk is fairly routine no matter where in the world they may be. For most monks in Myanmar, their daily routine is pretty mundane. A typical day unusually begins around 4:30 in the morning with prayers followed by chores, breakfast and more prayers. […]

Being a Theravada Buddhist

by Andrew Hartsmith Ever since I was young, I’ve found myself fascinated by belief and the idea of unseen forces. I would read myths, fairy tales, and the Bible. Until a certain age I thought I wanted to go into the ministry. It made sense, my mother was a Methodist pastor for some time and […]

Growing Up Multi-Faith

by Francesca D’Arcy Orga On all my school forms, under religion, my mum would tick Jewish, Muslim and Christian, and she never raised me to think of myself any differently. She came from a Jewish family, and was raised in a traditionally Jewish environment. She married a man who was half Turkish Muslim and half […]