Buddha Jayanti, also known as Buddha Purnima, celebrates the birthday of Lord Buddha. Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Vaisakh (April/May). Lord Buddha was born on the Full Moon day in the month of Vaisakh in 563 BC. Here, it is interesting to note that Buddha achieved enlightenment and nirvana (salvation) on the same day (the Full Moon day). Thus, Buddha Purnima also marks the death anniversary of Gautam Buddha. Sarnath holds an important place in Buddhism as Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath. On the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, a large fair is held at Sarnath and the relics of the Buddha are taken out for public display in a procession.
According to Buddhist legend, his wife Yashodhara, his first disciple Ananda, his charioteer Channa, and the horse Kantaka on which he renounced his kingdom to ‘find some answers to life’, were all born on this sacred day. Even, the tree, called Bodhi tree, under which he attained nirvana was also believed to have been created on this day. And it was on this day Buddha chose to preach his first sermon at Varanasi, or, Benaras, in India.