Saga Dawa Festival – Time, Origin, Introduction
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Saga Dawa Festival – Time, Origin, Introduction

Update: Feb. 17th, 2013

Weisang in Saga Dawa Festival

Saga Dawa Festival – Time

The April in Tibetan Calendar is named "Saga Dawa Festival". According to legends, the Buddha Sakyamuni was born on the seventh day of Saga Dawa Month in the Iron Monkey Year in Tibetan Calendar, became Buddha on the fifteenth day of Saga Dawa Month in Wooden Horse Year in Tibetan Calenar and passed away on the fifteenth day of Saga Dawa Month in Iron Dragon Year in Tibetan Calendar. Hence, Tibetans regard the April in Tibetan Calendar as the festival to chant scripture for three great events of Buddha Sakyamuni. They also regard this month as a lucky and auspicious month. During Saga Dawa Festival, all monasteries, disregarding large or small, will hold various religious activities.

Saga Dawa Festival – Origin

The April 15th in Tibetan Calendar is a fixed festival in Tibet – Saga Dawa Festival. In Tibetan Language, it means the month of Root Mansion (the Root Mansion is one of Tibetan lunar mansions). It is the day when Sakyamuni who is the founder of Buddhism born, became Buddha and passed away. Hence, Tibetans will hold a variety of activities to commemorate this festival in the month. In the course of time, all of these activities change to circumambulation around mountains in large scale.

Saga Dawa Festival – Introduction

The Saga Dawa Festival is also named Buddhist Auspicious Day (from April 13th to April 15th in Tibetan Calendar). The April 15th in Tibetan Calendar is a traditional Festival in Tibetan Buddhism. It is named Saga Dawa Festival in Tibetan Language. It is also named "Weisai Festival" by Tibetan Buddhism believers in countries of Hinayana Buddhism. It means "the day when the noon is round". For Tibetan Buddhism believers, the day of April 15th in Tibetan Calendar is a very special and sacred day. It is closely related with the three great events of Buddha Sakyamuni which are birth, becoming Buddha and passing away. Hence, it is an auspicious day to celebrate these three great events at the same time. In May, 1990, for the proposal of President Zhao Puchu of the Buddhist Association of China, Chinese Buddhist monasteries also fixed April 15th in Lunar Calendar as the day to commemorate the Buddha Sakyamuni, and named it "Buddha Auspicious Day". Like this, Buddhist monasteries in all districts of China will hold ceremony and religious activities on this day. This action not only can embody the dignity and accordance of Buddhism, but also can help to enhance the friendship and solidarity between Buddhism believers in different districts.

Since Saga Dawa Festival is one of the most important and most hilarious festivals in Tibet, it will be celebrated in large scale. During Saga Dawa Festival, there are various religious activities, such as circumambulation, religious dance, etc. At this time, the whole Tibet is a happy ocean. All of these activities will make Tibet full of festival atmosphere and happy scenes. Hence, how could you miss this opportunity to enjoy the rich religious atmosphere in Tibet if you have Tibet tour at this time?

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