Fri, 01 Jul 2022

DHAKA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- After days of rain, Dhaka woke up to a bright, sunny morning Sunday when the bling and glamour of Buddha Purnima were everywhere.

Buddha Purnima is the largest Buddhist festival. After a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, the festival is back in full swing, with devotees thronging the pagodas and monasteries of the capital throughout the day.

AIR OF FESTIVITY

This year's Buddha Purnima was celebrated with enthusiasm and fervor in Dhaka, with no COVID-19 restrictions in place. With infections subsiding and no deaths reported in weeks, the Buddhist community in Bangladesh celebrated this Buddha Purnima like the regular year, and the air was filled with festivity. Prayers are offered for happiness and prosperity. People make offerings of fruits and flowers.

Supta Barua, from Gazipur on the outskirts of Dhaka, visited a temple in the capital city with her family.

"I wish everyone a happy Buddha Purnima," she said before praying for all the members of her family, but especially for her new baby to be well-established in life, be a good human, be healthy, and live a long life.

"We express gratitude to Lord Buddha for saving us from the pandemic and praying so that this pandemic doesn't come again, anywhere in the whole world," said Barua.

HAPPINESS AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL

All the pagodas in the city are decorated with illuminated decorations and temples all over the country are crowded. Dharma Mitra Mahathero, head of the International Buddhist Monastery at Merul Badda in Dhaka, said for the past two years Buddhists had been unable to come to the temple to perform good deeds due to COVID-19.

"Worshippers are now coming to Bihars (monasteries), worshiping and praying for the happiness of all beings, for the welfare of all," said Mahathero. "On this day, we wish happiness and well-being into everyone's life. May all beings in the Universe be happy."

"Buddhists who are near or far are celebrating this day with great. self-respect and religious dignity," he said. "On this day, Buddha Purnima's friendly greetings to all."

Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the Buddhist community. In separate messages on the eve of the day, they wished peace and happiness for all in the Buddhist community.

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