Magha Puja Day (Buddhism)

On March 18, 2011

Magha Puja, also called Sangha Day or Fourfold Assembly Day, in most Buddhist countries is observed on the first full moon day of March.

The day is called 'Fourfold Assembly' Day because four marvelous events took place:

1. There were 1,250 Sangha followers that came to see the Buddha that evening without any schedule.
2. All of them were Arhantas, the Enlightened One, and all of them were ordained by the Buddha himself.
3. The Buddha gave these Arhantas a sermon in which he asked the monks to do good, to abstain from bad action, and to purify the mind.
4. It was the full moon day of Magha (March).

The word Sangha refers to the community of Buddhists, either all Buddhists everywhere or a particular fellowship of Buddhists. Although Sangha can refer to both monks and laypeople, Magha Puja Day is called 'Sangha Day' because it is a day to show appreciation to the monastic Sangha.

On this day laypeople gather at temples bringing with them offerings of food and other items for the monastics. Magha Puja observations usually feature processions, sometimes by candlelight. Observers walk around a shrine or Buddha image or through a temple three times, once for each of the Three Jewels – The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

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