13th July 2022 by

Asalha Puja (13 July)

Asalha Puja falls on the sixth lunar month (typically July), and commemorates Buddha’s first sermon after enlightenment which took place in the Deer Park in Benares (Varanasi), India. The festival offers a chance for Buddhists to reflect on the sermon’s four noble truths: there is suffering, suffering is caused by attachment, there is a plane beyond attachment, and the way to that plane is the Noble Eightfold Path. While there are many strains of Buddhism, all strains accept the four noble truths as central doctrine—making Asalha Puja one of the religion’s most important celebrations.

The day is observed by donating offerings to the temples, monks and listening to Buddha’s sermons. An important activity is to chant the scriptures telling of this event in the original Pali language.

People participate by giving foods to the monks, nuns, and the poor on this day. Some will avoid eating meat and doing anything that gives them luxury. People often eat bread with sweet sauce on it for dessert. People eat a variety of fruits, such as dragon fruit, pomelo and mangosteen.

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