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Saga Dawa Festival

The Saga Dawa Düchen is one of the most important days to commemorates the Buddha Shakyamuni’s birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana (passing). The event takes place every year on the full moon day of the 15th day of the 4th month of Tibetan Calendar. This prince of the Sakya clan was born in Lumbini, in present Nepal, achieved enlightenment in Bodhgaya, in present India, at the age of thirty-six, and passed away in Kushinagar, in India, at the age of eighty-one. These three notable events took place on the same day of the year, over 2,564 years ago.

It says that the effects of virtuous actions or negative actions done on this day equal multiplied one hundred million times. The Buddha’s advice, simply stated, was to avoid harming others and, if possible, to help them. Thus during the Saga Dawa, people visit nearby shrines, perform circumambulations, make prostrations, observe a vegetarian diet, give alms, offer incense and butter lamps, and sometimes even distribute free water, juice or food at Major Buddhist sites and monasteries. The two most visited sited in Kathmandu are Swayambhunath and Boudhanath Stupas.

In Lhasa and in most of the Tibetan towns and villages, on this day each year, people get dressed in their splendid attire and sing and dance and have a picnic or gathering. People also release birds, pigeons, fishes of Living Things.

During Saga Dawa, many pilgrims make their way to Mount Kailash, one of the holiest sites for many religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Bonism. For the Buddhist, Kailash is their Mount Meru, the axis of the world and abode of Buddha Chakrasambara, the wrathful manifestation of Buddha, the divine figure of ultimate bliss. On this day the pain praying flag pole at the base of Mount Kailash gets raised amidst the presence of thousands of pilgrims from all over the World.

The homage to the Buddha is “Om Mune Mune Maha Mune Ye Soha”

If you are planning a trip to Kailash coinciding with the Saga Dawa festival of at other times of the year, then please, let us know at annatreks@gmail.com. Please, detail your interest such as combing a visit of Nepal and Tibet, including Lhasa or Tsetang or both etc., and available time and we will tailor an accurate plan for a memorable trip to the Himalayas.

The Buddha’s advice, simply stated, was to avoid harming others and, if possible, to help them”