Dharma day (usually in July)
Dharma day marks the beginning of the Buddha's teaching. The word Dharma can be translated as truth and is the term used for the path to enlightenment, or the Buddhist teaching.
Soon after his Enlightenment the Buddha went to find his former disciples and share his experience with them. This event could be seen as the start of the Buddhist religion, and is what Dharma day celebrates.
The first teaching to the Buddha's original five disciples is known as ‘The First Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma (Dharmachakra).’
In early Buddhism, the time around what has now become Dharma Day (the eighth lunar month in the traditional Indian calendar) marked the beginning of the rainy season.
At this point, the Buddha and his monks and nuns would suspend their nomadic lifestyle for three months. They would shelter together until the monsoon season was over, and use this time as a period of further meditation and reflection.
At the end of this time, they would resume their travelling, passing on the Buddha's teachings to those who were interested.
Dharma day is now seen as a chance to express gratitude that the Buddha, and other enlightened teachers, have shared their knowledge with others.
Dharma day is usually celebrated with readings from the Buddhist scriptures, and is an opportunity to reflect deeply on their content
.If an individual practices Buddhism within a monastic tradition, Dharma day is, wherever possible, celebrated in a temple, Buddhist centre or monastery in the presence of monks or nuns.
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