DHAKA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- With due religious fervor and solemnity, Buddhist community in Bangladesh capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country is celebrating "Buddha Purnima," one of their major festivals, on Wednesday.
The largest Buddhist festival marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.
It is being celebrated in all monasteries and other religious organizations through daylong programs which include hoisting of national and religious flags atop all monasteries, lighting of lamps, and recitation from the sacred verses and breaking of fast by the monks.
Mass prayers, blood donation, "sangadana" (presentation to the monks), discussions, "panchashilla" (prayers) and pradip puja are the other highlights of the program of the day.
Special prayers are being offered at all monasteries across the country, seeking peace, progress and prosperity of the nation.
Since Wednesday morning, hundreds of Buddhists were seen to throng monstaries in Dhaka. They brought out a colorful rally in Dhaka on Wednesday morning. Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, among others, joined the rally as the chief guest.
They also took part in various rituals and offered fruits, flowers and candles to statues of Lord Buddha who was born on a full moon day in 563 BC.
On the occasion, Bangladesh President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the Buddhist community.
In separate messages on the eve of the day, they wished peace and happiness for all.
In his message, the president said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. The history, heritage and civilization and culture of the Buddhists are profoundly integrated with the soil and the people of this country.
"Gautama Buddha preached for parity and harmony throughout his life to build a peaceful world," he said.
He also expressed the hope that the Buddhist community will continue their efforts for the country's development.
In her message Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said expressed the hope that Buddha community will play an effective role in building Bangladesh as a humanitarian, peaceful and prosperous country through their knowledge, merits and efficiency after being imbued with Gautama Buddha's message for equality, ideals and friendship.