If you follow our blog, you probably know we’re in the midst of a special series, “Home for the Holidays”, paying tribute to holiday traditions in December. Carrying that theme, our story today is about Bodhi Day.
On Dec. 8 Buddhists celebrated Bodhi Day. This day is significant to Buddhists around the world because it’s the day Siddhartha Gautama, reached a state of enlightenment, when he saw the morning star at dawn, while under the Bodhi Tree. He became the Buddha, known also as the “Awakened One.”
Bodhi Day is recognized through quiet reflection on the same day the Buddha became enlightened 2,500 years ago. Bodhi Day gives Buddhists opportunities to acknowledge values of compassion, wisdom, compassion and kindness, which represent the Buddhist view of the world.
Many Buddhists decorate a ficus tree for Bodhi Day, which is symbolic the Bodhi Tree. Trees are often decorated with the colored lights symbolizing enlightenment, and strung beads. Three ornaments are an important part of the tree decorations, representing the “Three Jewels” of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. A statue under the tree signifies the Buddha sitting under the tree of enlightenment.
Check out our blog to learn more about December celebrations, as our series continues to the end of the year.