Buddha Purnima is celebrated as the day when Lord Buddha descended on the earth. As per the Vedic literature, Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and hence, he appeared on this earth about 2500 years ago to teach the message of non-violence and mercy towards all living creatures. This sacred day is celebrated all over the world and it is considered auspicious, for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Also known as Vaishakh Purnima, this day is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar and the Hindu calendar, which usually falls in April or May month of the Western Gregorian calendar. Buddha Purnima 2018 will be commemorated on April 30 by the followers of Buddhism, and the festival is also recognized as Vesak or Buddha day. The day is celebrated as Buddha Purnima by Buddhists and Kurma Jayanti by Hindus.
Buddha Purnima or Vesak is of great significance for the entire world as the message of Buddha reached various parts of the world. On this day, the Buddhists all over the world commemorate the significant events of Buddhism, i.e. the birth enlightenment and passing away of their spiritual leader. People of various countries visit the holy shrines of Buddha and there are a lot of pilgrims who come to visit his Birth Place and the Mahabodhi Tree.
Devotees generally gather and bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher and pray to him for peace, serenity and tranquillity. They absorb themselves in meditation and chant the mantras and scriptures associated with various sects of Buddhism. Also, some people observe a fast as it is combined with the full moon day (Purnima) and offer fruits and sweets to the deities of Lord Buddha. People worship Lord Satyanarayana, an extremely benevolent form of Lord Vishnu, and observe Satyanarayana fasting on Purnima day.
This year, the Purnima Tithi timings are from 06:37 AM on 29th April to 06:27 AM on 30th April 2018. This is the correct time to offer worship to him.