Religious Education Information Sheet

January 10th is the New Year for Mahayana Buddhists.

The first full moon of January is when Mahayana Buddhists celebrate the new year by honoring and praying for Buddha and other deities. Every Buddhist is expected to visit a nearby temple to light candles which are believed to bring happiness and good luck for the commencing year. Songs are sung as an offering to deities while statues of Buddha are washed as a sign of respect. Mahayana Buddhism is the largest sub-division of the Buddhist religion. Mahayana Buddhists believe enlightenment can be acquired during one’s lifetime. They also believe that not only nuns and monks can achieve it, but also ordinary Buddhists.