This blogpost series is called Holidays and Holy Days to inform our OSU community about significant religious or spiritual observances.  If you know of a significant holiday or holy day coming up, please communicate the information to Hannah Pynn in the Dean of Student Life office.

December 8, 2012 celebrates the Buddhist holiday of Bodhi Day.

Happy Bodhi Day!
Happy Bodhi Day! 


The Buddhist holiday Bodhi day celebrates the day that the historic Buddha, Siddartha Gautauma, achieved enlightenment through meditation.  Bodhi is the word for enlightenment in Sanskrit.


Traditions vary in describing the events of how and when Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, but it is general belief that he went through this process while sitting under a Bodhi tree and became the “Awakened One.”  Buddha’s enlightenment has been the central article of the Buddhist faith for 2,500 years.  Around the year 596 BCE, Siddhartha Gautama abandoned his privileged, royal life to search for Dharma (the truth).  For six years, Siddartha Gautama realized that meditation was the way to achieve truth.  After 49 days of unbroken meditation, he discovered the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, which are the basic elements of all Buddhist practices.

The Bodhi Tree still grows near the banks of the Falgu River and has been surrounded by a temple for over 2,200 years.  This site is the most sacred site of pilgrimage for Buddhists.


  1. Day-long meditation, prayer and study
  2. 30 days, beginning with Bodhi day, Buddhists bring a ficus or sacred fit tree to their house
  3. Decorating with ornaments that represent the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the way of truth), and the Sangha (the community of those seeking enlightenment)
  4. Eating a morning meal of milk and rice, which the Buddha ate to end his fast after his Enlightenment
  5. Light candles for 30 days to represent Buddha’s enlightenment
  6. Decorate with fig leaves or origami fig leaves that represent a heart shape
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