Buddhism has many different beliefs and practices than other religions, making it unique. One popular holiday is Christmas.
Do Buddhists celebrate Christmas, or do they celebrate another holiday instead?
Yes, many Buddhists celebrate Christmas, but not all of them do. However, when Buddhists celebrate Christmas, they don’t do it in a Christian way. They have their own set of practices for the holiday.
The reason why many Buddhists celebrate Christmas is that the teachings of Christ can complement the beliefs and practices of Buddhism.
The rest of this article will cover why some Buddhists celebrate Christmas, how Buddhists celebrate Christmas, and what holidays Buddhists celebrate.
Why Some Buddhists Celebrate Christmas
Buddhism has several core beliefs that are close to Christian beliefs. In fact, there are many theories that state that Buddhism had an influence on Christianity.
Thanks to this, there are countless Buddhists who celebrate Christmas, but in their own way.
However, their beliefs having similarities isn’t the only reason why many Buddhists celebrate Christmas.
The main reason why is that Christmas celebrates Jesus, therefore making it seen as a primarily Christian holiday despite what Jesus means in Buddhism.
If you look into how Jesus is perceived by Buddhists, you’ll see that Jesus is a person they consider valuable. They see him as a “High Bodhisattva”.
In simple terms, this means someone on the path to becoming a Buddha, and someone who has a high amount of compassion for others.
With that added context, it’s understandable why many Buddhists would celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is a time for spreading peace, love, and kindness, which is a message that Buddhists love to spread as well.
They respect the idea of Christianity and embrace it since they are open-minded.
In a way, Buddhists see Jesus as a blessing to not only people, but to Earth as well.
That is why they celebrate Christmas, but again, they do it in a different way than Christians.
Despite this, Buddhists still celebrate Christmas in a fun and festive manner.
How Buddhists Celebrate Christmas
Since Buddhists don’t celebrate Christmas in the Christian way, they have their own practices during the holiday season.
Buddhists still put up colorful decorations and lights to get in the spirit, but not necessarily the Christmas tree you’ll see depicted in Christian celebrations.
There is another holiday, known as “Bodhi Day”, that has Buddhists decorating a ficus or Bodhi tree to celebrate Lord Buddha.
This doesn’t mean that Buddhists never use Christmas trees, but it’s less common than the decorations and lights.
In the West, you’re more likely to see Buddhists using decorated pine trees to celebrate Christmas.
This is because Buddhism is very open-minded to other religions, and one of their beliefs is accepting other religions.
So although their ways of celebrating aren’t the ways you’d see in Christian media, they celebrate in their own way and aren’t opposed to hanging up decorations in honor of Jesus.
What Holidays Buddhists Celebrate
Christmas is one holiday Buddhists celebrate, but there are plenty of others as well.
Bodhi Day has already been mentioned, but there are other big holidays as well, such as the Buddhist New Year. This holiday takes place over the course of three full days.
Buddhists celebrate their new year depending on where they’re from and when the first full moon comes.
Many Buddhists celebrate New Year during the first full moon, which can happen at random times at the beginning of the year.
Sometimes it’s mid-January, and other times it can come as late as early March.
Another popular holiday is Dharma Day. This important day celebrates the teachings of Buddha, and, like New Year’s, has to do with the full moon.
Buddhists celebrate this holiday on the first full moon of the eighth lunar month.
On this day, Buddhists celebrate to express their thanks for Buddha’s teachings. This event often covers Buddha’s search, writings, and teachings.
It’s where they celebrate his enlightenment and pass the teachings of that enlightenment onto others.
Lastly, one more popular holiday is Kathina, which is a huge festival celebrated in October and November.
It lasts about a month, and there are many offerings that are made during this time.
Also, Buddhists will present the monks with new robes as a way of honoring them.