Falguni Purnima

Falguni Purnima a Buddhist religious festival, celebrated on the day of the full moon (Purnima) in the month of Falgun, commemorating gautam buddha's reunion with his relatives. It is also called Jvatimilan Purnima (meeting-with-relatives purnima) or Jnati Sammelan Tithi (the day of meeting relatives).

Buddha's relatives, including Shuddhodhan, his father, Yasodhara, his wife, and Rahul, his son, had not met him for a long time. After Buddha received enlightenment, Shuddhodhan sent a messenger to Buddha. However, on hearing Buddha's sermon, the messenger stayed back and joined the monastic order. More messengers were sent out from the palace, but each of them was converted to Buddhism and did not return home. Meanwhile, Shuddhodhan's desire to see Buddha became even more intense. Finally, Shuddhodhan sent Kaludayee, a boyhood friend of Buddha, who managed to persuade Buddha to return home.

At Kapilavastu, Buddha met his family, who all converted to Buddhism. The day is believed to have been the day of the full moon in Falgun, or Falguni Purnima.

The day is celebrated by holding fairs at different Buddhist villages of Chittagong: Shakyamuni mela (Dhemsha, Satkania), Achariyar mela (Unaipura, Patiya), Dhatumela (Ichamati, Rangunia), Bodhimela (Fatenagar, Chandanaish), and Dhatumela-Falguni Astami (Boria, Anwara). [Sukomal Barua]