Lunar Dharma Dates for 2024: Buddha Days, Recurring Puja Days, Annual Celebrations in Three Buddhist Traditions

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    Most special days in Buddhist Practices tend to align on lunar calendars. Buddha’s birthday, for example, varies on the Western calendar year-to-year. (Dates below are updated to 2024!) Losar, or Tibetan New Year, is celebrated on the Lunar calendar. The most important days of the entire year are typically the “Buddha Days” at the beginning of the year, starting on Lunar New Year and continuing for 15 days — often called the 15 Days of Miracles.

    According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, based on the Vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic, “karmic results are multiplied one hundred million times.”

    Whether you take that as literal — many of us do — or symbolic of the importance of these days, it is auspicious for Buddhist practitioners to honor the special days.

     

    Buddha Weekly Chiang Mai Thailand Buddhist monk preparing space temple Loi krathong festival Buddhism
    Chiang Mai Thailand Buddhist monk preparing space temple Loi krathong festival.

     

    Lunar Recurring Days

    Here, we’ll cover the special days for 2023. They break down into categories:

    • Buddha Days:
      • 15 Days of Miracles — and especially the 15th Day of the Lunar first month, which is “the Day of Miracles”
      • Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Paranirvana: celebrated on the 15th lunar day of the 4th lunar month
      • Lord Buddha’s First Teaching: 4th day of the 6th lunar month
      • Lord Buddha’s Descent from the God Realm of Thirty Three: day 22 of lunar month 9.
    • Eclipse Days: considered auspicious with “karmic results are multiplied by one hundred million on solar eclipses and by seven million on lunar” according to Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
    • Full Moon Days: auspicious for practice and special to both Tara and Medicine Buddha (Pujas encouraged.)
    • Medicine Buddha Puja Days: 8th and/or 15th of every lunar month
    • New Moon Days: auspicious for practice, and also for Naga Pujas.
    • Protector Puja: once a month pujas for the Dharma Protectors on the 29th of every lunar month.
    • Guru Rinpoche Day: each month on the 10th day of the lunar month, corresponding with Tsog (see below.)
    • Tsog (Tsok) Days: on the 10th and 25th of every lunar month, a festive offering for: “Those who have received an initiation into Highest Yoga Tantra have a commitment to perform tsog” — according to Lama Zopa Rinpoche. These break down into:
      • Daka (Hero) Tsog: 10th day of the lunar month
      • Dakini (Heroine or Yogini) Tsog: 25th day of the lunar month.

    For the latest actual dates for 2024, see our Dharma Calendar>>

     

    BuddhaWeekly offerings 69205245 1500 3

     

    Mahayana Special Days on Western Calendar 2024

    In addition to the special “meritorious” days for practice, there are annual celebration days, such as the Buddha Days. Some days may vary with the region. For example, the celebration of Lord Buddha’s Birth, Death and Enlightenment, typically celebrate don the 15th day of the 4th lunar day may be observed (in some cases as a national holiday) on other dates in some countries.

    Buddha Days Converted to Western Calendar

    Buddha Weekly Buddha Descent from Tushita Heaven Buddhism
    Buddha descends from Tushita heaven, one of the Eight Great Deeds of the Buddha — celebrated on Lhabab Duchen.

     

     

     

    Buddha Weekly Full moon and Naga on a Buddhist Temple Buddhism
    Full moon against the roof of a Buddhist Temple featuring a Naga decoration.

     

    Full Moon Days 2024

    Full Moon is very special every month for all practices, with all merit increased.

    This is the day for Amitabha Pujas, Medicine Buddha Pujas, or a second Tara Puja (the main date being the 8th of the lunar month for Tara).
    • January 25
    • February 24
    • March 25
    • April 23
    • May 23
    • June 22
    • July 21
    • August 19
    • September 18
    • October 17
    • November 15
    • December 15

    Buddha Weekly Religious procession during Phi Mai Lao New Year celebrations in Luang Prabang Laos Buddhism
    New Year’s procession during Phi Mai Lao New Year celebrations in Luang Prabang Laos.

    New Moon Days 2024

    Lama Zopa advised: The New Moon or “30th of Tibetan month; good for practice.”
    • January 11
    • February 9
    • February 9
    • March 10
    • April 8
    • May 8 (The new moon of May occurs on May 7 at 11:22 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (0322 UTC May 8), in New York, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.)
    • June 6
    • July 5
    • August 4
    • September 2
    • October 2
    • November 1
    • November 30
    • December 1
    • December 30

    Buddha Weekly Medicine Buddha Sutra in lotus position with healing plants Buddhism
    Medicine Buddha is an ideal practice for full moon days, or any day!

    Medicine Buddha Puja 2024

    Medicine Buddha Puja is traditionally celebrated on the full moon of the lunar calendar (full moon dates above). It may also be honored on the 8th of the lunar month along with Tara Pujas.

    Buddha Weekly Chittamani Tara feature horizontal Buddhism
    Chittamani Tara is similar in appearance to Green Tara — in fact she is Green Tara — although she is visualized with two lush blooming Uptala flowers over each shoulder. (Uptala is “night lotus) and blue.

    Tara Puja Days 2023

    Tara Puja Days are traditional celebrated on the 8th of the Lunar month — known affectionately as Tara Day! It is also often performed and honored on the full moon and all auspicious days. Any day can be Tara Day! For more on Tara Days and why they’re important, see>>

    • January 18
    • February 17
    • March 17
    • April 16
    • May 15
    • June 14
    • July 14
    • August 12
    • September 11
    • October 10
    • November 9
    • December None — as it’s an astrological skip month with no 8th day.
    Buddha Weekly Buddha Weekly Losar food Buddhism Buddhism
    Traditionally, altars with offerings for the Enlightened Ones should be laden and generous.

    Tsog Offering

    For a breakdown by Daka Tsog and Dakini Tsog dates see our Dharma Dates calendar. There are traditionally two:

    • Daka (Hero) Tsog: 10th day of the lunar month
    • Dakini (Heroine or Yogini) Tsog: 25th day of the lunar month.
    • For all Tsog dates converted to the Western Calendar, see our Dharma Dates 2024>>

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    Lee Kane

    Author | Buddha Weekly

    Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
    Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.

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