Mongolia marking Buddha Day as public holiday

2020-06-05 11:42:28

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. On June 5, today, Mongolia is celebrating the Buddha Day as an official public holiday for the first time. This day, which falls on the 15th day of the first month of summer every year, according to the Buddhist calendar, is dedicated to mark three momentous events in Buddha's life – his birth, enlightenment, and his departure from the human world. 

The State Great Khural, parliament of Mongolia, made an amendment to the Law on Public Holidays in December 2019, making the Buddha Day a nationwide public holiday, and some parliament members pointed out that the Buddha Day should be celebrated as a day to encourage compassion, empathy and kindness and promote love for mother nature, parents and family.

On this day, chanting and praying sessions, Buddhist rituals and ceremonies, awarding events and exhibition for essay writing and painting competitions, and online greetings from the 14th Dalai Lama and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi are planned to be held mostly at Buddhist monasteries, including The Gandantegchinlen Monastery. Also today, a special TV program and ‘Buddha’ TV series will be broadcast and children who were born on this day will be given presents. 

Some large markets, Narantuul, Dunjingarav and Kharkhorin will be closed today and vehicular restriction rule based on license plate numbers in Ulaanbaatar city is not effective as well.

There are some 364 temples and monasteries operating in Mongolia, 134 of which are of Buddhism. Also the recent population census showed that 53 percent of the country’s populated aged over 15 consider themselves Buddhist.