Nirvana Day

Parinirvana Day, or Nirvana Day is a Mahayana Buddhist holiday celebrated in East Asia. By some it is celebrated on 8th of February, but by most on 15th of February. Some Western Buddhist groups also celebrate Parinirvana Day.

It marks the day when the Buddha is said to have achieved Parinirvana, or complete Nirvana, upon the death of his physical body. Buddhists celebrate the death of the Buddha because they believe that since he was Enlightened, he was free from the pain of physical existence.

Observances include the reading of parts of the Nirvana Sutra which describes the Buddha’s last days of life. The day is also marked by meditation and visits to Buddhist temples and monasteries which sometimes open their doors to laypeople, who bring gifts of money and household goods to support the monks and nuns.

In Buddhism, parinirvana is the final nirvana, which occurs upon the death of the body of someone who has attained complete awakening (bodhi).

For any person, this might be an appropriate day is a time to think about one’s own future death and on the deaths of loved ones.

The Paranirvana of the Buddha. Gandhara 2-3rd century. ZenYouMitsu Temple, Setagaya, Tokyo. In Buddhist art, a reclining Buddha usually represents Parinirvana.

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Ken Ronkowitz

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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