Religious Holidays Quiz

Handy Religion 2e
ISBN: 9781578593798
$44.95

What kind of religious calendar do Buddhists observe?

  • Since Buddhism has long been identified with so many different cultural settings, there is some variation in the ways Buddhists keep track of sacred times.
  • The basic religious calendar remains tied, at least nominally, to the ancient Hindu combination of lunar and solar reckoning, but many Buddhists now observe some festivities on fixed dates.
  • The earliest Buddhists apparently did not concern themselves with marking special occurrences on their calendar.
  • In most places where Buddhism is an important presence today, the reckoning of years begins with the date of the Buddha's entry into nirvana (which coincided with his death).


Since Buddhism has long been identified with so many different cultural settings, there is some variation in the ways Buddhists keep track of sacred times. The basic religious calendar remains tied, at least nominally, to the ancient Hindu combination of lunar and solar reckoning, but many Buddhists now observe some festivities on fixed dates. The earliest Buddhists apparently did not concern themselves with marking special occurrences on their calendar. But within a generation or so, India's growing and spreading Buddhist communities began to incorporate religious social occasions into ordinary life. As Buddhist communities arose outside of India they naturally tended to blend religious observances imported by Buddhist missionaries with the indigenous festivities of the land. In most places where Buddhism is an important presence today, the reckoning of years begins with the date of the Buddha's entry into nirvana (which coincided with his death). In any given year, Buddhists observe various festal occasions. Some commemorate major events in the life of the Buddha, others celebrate different institutional features of the tradition, others are tied to seasonal festivities, and still others are linked to events only in certain countries.

From The Handy Religion Answer Book, Second Edition by Jack Renard, Ph.D., (c) 2012 Visible Ink Press(R). Your Guide to the World's Major Faiths

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