Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Happy Mahayana New Year

January 10th — In countries where Mahayana Buddhism is the dominant religion (China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Mongolia), January is the month of celebration. Just like how other people celebrate New Year during the first of January, the Mahayana Buddhists also celebrate their own New Year every first full moon of January.

People who practice Mahayana Buddhism have absorbed the customs of their local areas. They believe that enlightenment can be achieved by anyone, not just by monks. They believe that through service, a person can achieve enlightenment and people can also help others achieve Nirvana as well.

The ego’s root feeling is that if I do not hold myself together there will be a falling apart into something chaotic and difficult. So there is anxiety, an energetic anxiety which is located in the body, in the whole energetic system of the body and interpersonal turbulence reminds us again and again ‘If I don’t keep it together, I will get in trouble’.

– Dalai Lama

If you are not a Mahayana Buddhist, you are still welcome to take part in the celebration. you may have a relative or a friend who is a Mahayana Buddhist. If so, then you can join them in celebrating this special day wherein they welcome a new year ahead of them. Just like what most people would do, you can also celebrate this day by visiting the nearest local Buddhist temple. There, aside from praying, you can also make some offerings to the monks and the temple. Just remember to strictly follow the rules of the temple.

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”

Buddha

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