Saga Dawa Festival in the Ripa International Center
May 25th and 26th, 2013
A celebration of Buddhist life, culture, art and contemplation
Every year on the fourth month of the tibetan calendar (may or june) Buddhists from all traditions celebrate Saga Dawa. During this month, the main celebration takes place on the full moon day. Buddhists contemplate and meditate on Lord Buddha's life and commemorate especially his birthday, his enligthenment and his passing away to Parinirvana. Visakhi, Vesak, Vesākha, Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti, Vaisakha, or Saga Dawa Düchen is a day of prayer and meditation – but it also is a day of worldwide joy and coming together in great festivities, sharing our common human values.
This year, Saga Dawa for the Ripa Sangha is a particularly joyful event since for the first time the festival will take place in our newly founded International Center in Europe, in Landguet Ried close to Bern, Switzerland.
Buddhist ceremonies, workshops for personal and spiritual development, brief courses on Lord Buddha's life and a variety of cultural attractions will take place. There will be colorful, lively goings- on a bit like a country fair with performances and presentations. Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche, the spiritual founder and leader of the Center, along with his students wish to invite everybody to come and discover the Buddhist traditions during this weekend or just to have fun experiencing some of the various skillful means to bring mindfulness and awareness into our busy lives.
On Saturday, emphasis is put on Buddhist ceremonies celebrating what is the most sacred day of the year for Buddhists. There will be a procession with a Buddha statue under the guidance of our teacher Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and in the presence of Buddhists from other traditions.
In the evening – at full moon – everybody joins for a huge candlelight offering : a moment to contemplate on the path the Buddha showed us and to make wishes for a joyful and peaceful world. The day will end with a Buddha-Celebration.
On Sunday morning, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche holds a public conference, followed by a question and answer session: "Mind and heart - what makes us happy ?" The country fair and workshops will continue throughout the day, with an exciting program especially designed for families and newcomers : Shine meditation, sand mandalas, theater, yoga, meditation in movement, introduction to Buddhism, and much more.
A colorful closing ceremony concludes the festivities on Sunday afternoon.
Ripa International Center/Stiftung Landguet Ried
Hilfligweg 10 - CH - 3172 Niederwangen (Bern) - Switzerland
Phone : + 41 / (0)31 981 0377