Saga Dawa festival / May 25th (from may 25th to June 8th, 2024).
Saga Dawa is the biggest religious festival after Monlam Chemo, and celebrates the enlightenment of Buddha and his entry into nirvana upon his death. Thousands of pilgrim crowd into the Jokhang temple, and the Lingkor circumambulation routes around Lhasa has a steady flow of worshipers for the entire day.
Saga Dawa Festival, which is known as the Precious Jewel of Snows in Tibetan, is considered by Buddhists to be the abode of the deity Chakrasamvara. It is said that if one does 108 circumambulations, one will reach enlightenment. The great Tibetan poet-saint Milarepa once declared, “There is no place more powerful for practice, more blessed, or more marvelous than this. May all pilgrims and practitioners be welcome!”
Mt. Everest, which is known as Jomolangma or the Mother of all mountains in Tibetan, is the world’s highest mountain with an altitude of 8848m / 29028ft.
The Saga Dawa Festival is an ancient festival that is celebrated by people in different countries in differing ways. Tibetan Buddhists try to do what the Buddha said and give alms and pray. It is thought that praying and alms giving and doing acts of benevolence during Saga Dawa and in the holy month after this multiplies the merited return to the giver far more than on regular days. During the month, many Tibetans also refrain from killing animals. Tibetans think of it as Buddha’s birthday, but they also celebrate his achieving of enlightenment and his death on the day.
Tibet Buddhists around the world call the day Vesakha or Vesak from the Sanskrit name Vaisakha. The First Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists resolved in 1950 to urge that the day of the full moon in the lunar month be a day to honor Buddha. Though the holiday is still celebrated on different days around the world, it is considered by many to be the most important Tibet Buddhist festival day.