Full Moon Day of Kasong is a national public holiday in Myanmar. It is also known as “Buddha Day” because it commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and nirvana (death) of Buddha, all of which are believed to have occurred on the same day of the year.
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Full Moon Day of Kasong comes in the second month of the Buddhist Calendar, which typically corresponds to April or May on the Gregorian Calendar. This is the dry season in Myanmar, when bodies of water are at their lowest ebb, and also, it is the time of year when days are longest and nights shortest.
The major festivity that takes place on Full Moon Day of Kasong is the ceremonial watering of the “Holy Bodhi Tree”. Since Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment under a bodhi tree and because it is the hot, dry summer, the watering takes on special significance. Many in Myanmar will go on pilgrimage to the sacred bodhi tree at its pagoda to water it on this day.
Also, many in Myanmar will do good deeds, meditate, give flowers or incense offerings to Buddha idols, and otherwise work to gain merit on Full Moon Day of Kasong.