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American Buddhist and Holidays

CarlitaCarlita Riding the waves!United States Veteran

Im an American and non native Buddhist by sect and personal vows. I read a lot about holidays celevrated in other countries according to their cultural norms.

Do you American Buddhist celebrate holidays of the Buddha's life etc?
If so, do you go by your own cultural norms? If not, why not?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I can only speak for the UK, but only Buddhists tend to 'celebrate' buddhist Days of Occasion. They're not really classified as 'Holidays'. More Days of Attention, and Re-Affirming....
    There are no Buddhist Days of Note that are observed as national days of any significance at all...

    I don't see that as a happening thing for the foreseeable future.

  • I'm thinking that sanghas with some connection to Buddhist countries celebrate, but holidays not celebrated in western nations rather just by some sanghas.

  • CarlitaCarlita Riding the waves! United States Veteran

    @federica
    @Jeffrey

    Thank you.

    The school I practice with are very very humanitarian (SGI). I would like to participate more in the Buddha's full life but the only temples are two hours away. One Veitnamese Zen temple I went to was nice. I dont speak Vietnamese and would like to go back..but the communication barrier is too great.

    As for the celebrations, Id like to do that but I wish I could in another sect in my school. They are out of state (ten hours distance).

    Anyway.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    we practice as a sangha, yes. We usually have a meal and time together as a group, mostly Losar and Saga Dawa, during which our teacher usually requests something of us, such as giving up meat for the month etc.

    I still celebrate cultural traditions with my family. They don't have a religious component really (other than the occasional prayer at the dinner table). Most of ours have components of multiple traditions. We celebrate Halloween/Samhain, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Yule, Easter/Ostara, and fall equinox/Mabon mainly. They are celebrated more Pagan than Christian as that is what speaks to me and what goes best with my yoga and ayurvedic practices. I enjoy celebrating cycles of the planet.

    Carlita
  • CarlitaCarlita Riding the waves! United States Veteran

    @karasti said:
    we practice as a sangha, yes. We usually have a meal and time together as a group, mostly Losar and Saga Dawa, during which our teacher usually requests something of us, such as giving up meat for the month etc.

    I still celebrate cultural traditions with my family. They don't have a religious component really (other than the occasional prayer at the dinner table). Most of ours have components of multiple traditions. We celebrate Halloween/Samhain, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Yule, Easter/Ostara, and fall equinox/Mabon mainly. They are celebrated more Pagan than Christian as that is what speaks to me and what goes best with my yoga and ayurvedic practices. I enjoy celebrating cycles of the planet.

    That's beautiful.

    I follow pagan traditions in that respect. I don't have cultural practices done as a family. It's mostly American holidays, and celebrating the seasons and moon cycles. Some Buddhist countries, I found out, have full moon celebrations; however, it's by their culture rather than a "traditional" buddhist holiday. Some full moons mark the begining of the year, for example while here it's January 1st and it could be waxing or waning moon, who knows.

    We had a good snow blizzard; so, when the spring comes, I'll be visiting a monastary. I'd try to get in for the retreat if not spend a couple of days there. The Buddha taught a lot to the monks, and it's somewhat hard to differientate if something is appropriate for lay people or is he only telling monks they should do this. I read one sutra where the Buddha was telling monks how high their bed should be.

    What can I say.

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