Nirvana Day (also known as Parinirvana Day)Nirvana Day is a Mahayana Buddhist day that celebrates the death of the Buddha, or in other words, the day the Buddha finally reached Nirvana at the age of 80. Some celebrate this day on the 8th and others on the 15th of February. So, what is Nirvana? The mental state of Nirvana symbolises the loss of all suffering and want, and freedom from the pain of physical existence. The word its self means ‘to extinguish.’ An enlightened monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, explains…

Nirvana as a removal of views and perceptions. He says, “In Buddhism, all views and wrong views. When you become in contact with reality you no longer have views, only wisdom.” He also emphasises how the notion of death cannot be applied to reality. He says, “There is transformation and continuation but you cannot say there is death.”

This is why Nirvana Day is a day to think about one’s own future death, the deaths of others, and Buddhist teachings of impermanence. On Nirvana Day it’s common to meditate or to go spend the day in a Buddhist temple or a monastery. In temples and monasteries Nirvana Day is treated as a social occasion. People bring food that everyone will share together, and some will bring presents such as money or household goods for the monks and nuns.

This year, in London, the London Buddhist Center is hosting Nirvana Day on the 12th of February.

Those who won’t have a chance to participate can contemplate the following Buddhist sayings:

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one that brings peace.”

“Things are not what they appear to be, nor are they otherwise.”

“War is out of date, obsolete.”

“Humans prepare for the future all their lives, yet meet the next life totally unprepared.”

“Our prime purpose in life is to help others. If you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”


Other celebrations in February:

Waitangi Day

Independence Days in February

St. Valentine’s Day

National Foundation Day: Japan

Setsubun: Japan

Lantern Festival

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 12:15 am and is filed under days of significance, East Asia, Europe, social practices . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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