The Buddhists yesterday celebrated Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the community, amid festivity and religious fervour across the country.
The festival marks the birth anniversary of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Marking the festival, the Buddhist community in Bangladesh, like elsewhere in the world, organised various programmes including peace processions, worships, religious discussions and chorus prayers and cultural functions.
They also offered fruits and flowers to idols of Lord Buddha and lit up candles throughout the day.
According to the Tripitaka scriptures, Gautama was born in Lumbini in modern-day Nepal, around the year 563 BCE, and raised in Kapilavastu. Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day.
Buddha means "the enlightened one", someone who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions.
The most important day for the followers of Buddhism commemorates three important events -- Lord Buddha's birth, his enlightenment and also his attainment of the highest spiritual goals, Nirvana, respectively in Bodh Gaya and 'Parinirvana' (final cessation) in Kushinagara of India.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued separate messages, greeting the members of the Buddhist community as well as the countrymen.
The president also exchanged greetings with the Buddhist community at Bangabhaban yesterday afternoon and urged all, irrespective of party affiliation, opinions and religious beliefs, to play due role in the national development and uphold communal harmony and tradition.
Besides, leaders of different political and socio-cultural organisations also greeted the Buddhist community on the occasion.
Bangladesh Buddhist Federation (BBF) organised a day-long programme, including a discussion at Merul Badda International Budda Bihar in the capital.