Country's Buddhist community will celebrate their most sacred festival Buddha Purnima in the city as elsewhere in the district on Sunday with solemn devotion and traditional enthusiasm.
Reverentially, the most important day for the followers of Buddhism, commemorates three important events -- Lord Buddha's birth, enlightenment and also his attainment of the highest spiritual goals, "Nirvana" respectively in Bodh Gaya and "Parinirvana" (or "final cessation") in Kushinagara of India.
As the name itself suggests, Buddha Purnima is observed on a bright full moon in the month of Vaisakha, a time especially suited for introspection, charity and puja.
This day is a thrice-blessed day. Gautam Buddha "lived and died in about the fifth century before the Christian era". Buddha means "enlightened one" - someone who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions.
Besides decorating the temple and area around with colorful Buddhist flags, the morning prayers, colorful procession of the monks, worship with large offerings, and blood donation take place on this day. Prayers, sermons and non-stop recitations of Buddhist scriptures will resonate in all monasteries, religious halls and homes. On this day the Buddhists bathe and wear only white clothes.
People offer incense, flowers, candles and fruits to the statue of Lord Buddha. They spend their entire day listening to discourses on the life and teachings of Buddha.
The festival will be celebrated in all monasteries and different Buddhists organizations with elaborate programmes. The day's programmes will be heralded with hoisting of the national and religious flags atop all monasteries at dawn and chanting of sacred verses from the Tripitaka.
In the city, the main religious congregations will be held at Nandankanan Buddhist Temple, Katalganj Nabapandit Vihar, Purnachar International Buddhists Monastery at Devpahar, Mughaltooli Shakkyamuni Vihar at Agrabad and Sarbajanina Bouddha Vihar at Momin Road.
The mass congregation at Nandankanan Buddhist Temple will be conducted by its chief abbot venerable Dr Gynansree Mahathero. To mark the day, local dailies will bring out some articles while Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television, Chittagong centers air special programmes highlighting the importance of the festival.
To mark the occasion, a good number of periodicals of the community like Amitabh, Sombodhi, Krishti, Bodhibarta and Arya will bring out special supplements.
Besides, special prayers seeking continued peace and progress of the nation as well as global peace will also be offered in all monasteries.
Meanwhile, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have greeted the countrymen and the Buddhist community on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhists.
In separate messages on the eve of the day, they wished peace, happiness and prosperity for all and success of the programmes marking Buddha Purnima.