What day do Buddhist go to temple? How does a Buddhist follower schedule their time? When praying, do they follow a specific routine?
In the following blog post, you’ll find the answers to all the questions listed above.
As part of the Buddhist tradition, you are encouraged to treat Buddha’s teachings as a daily guide to your life and a path to being enlightened. Buddhist temples are open daily, so people can come and go as they please. However, there are several days on the lunar calendar, known as Uposatha days, when most Buddhists visit temples.
Theravada Buddhist countries usually perform Uposatha rituals once a week. The moon’s four phases determine this day – the new moon, the full moon, and the two quarter moons in between. However, Uposatha days are determined only by the new moon and full moon in some countries, such as Sri Lanka.
Buddhist community in
Burma perform Uposatha rituals during the waxing, waning, full, and new moons. Therefore, in all cases, we have two common days:
a) the new moon and b) the full moon.
During ancient times, astronomical clocks, such as lunar phases, were easy to observe. This may have contributed to their popularity as they can be used for holidays and observances without requiring a written calendar. For example, all Burmese Buddhist holidays take place on Uposatha days.
Businesses and other secular establishments were closed on Uposatha day in earlier Burma. However, under colonial rule, Sundays became weekly holidays.
The Uposatha practice is somewhat unique to
Theravada countries. However, there are some Mahayana traditions that follow a modified version of this practice. The Japanese practice of roku-sainichi is one example.
The Mahayana branch observes a ritual equivalent to Uposatha 10 times a month according to the
Chinese calendar. The ritual is performed on the 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, and the last three days of a lunar month.
Video: Do Buddhists Have To Go To A Temple?
Also, the day that Buddhists go to temple varies greatly depending on the individual. For some, it is a daily ritual, while for others it might be as few as once or twice per month/year.
There are also those who have no set schedule and visit only when they feel like they need guidance from the monks. Buddhists may visit temples not only for prayer, but also to participate in various ceremonies, including birth and death ceremonies.