National Public Radio's Buddhists Prepare To Observe Bodhi Day, When Siddhartha Gautama Became Buddha article and podcast begins:

These winter holidays are a time for fellowship, joy and, for religious people around the world, worship. For many Buddhists, Bodhi Day is December 8. And tomorrow starts the celebration. Bodhi Day marks the day that Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha.

Wikipedia's Bodhi Day mentions Mahayana Buddhism and specifically Zen Buddhism.

For those who recognize Bodhi Day is the Gregorian date of December 8 universal, or do some Mahayana Buddhists use a lunar calendar to place it?

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    Interesting. According to Wikipedia, Bodhi Day appears to be the Mahayana version of Theravada's Vesak Day. Also interesting is that they are roughly 7 months apart.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


China, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam use the lunar calendar for all Buddhist holidays save for some exceptions (Taiwan's Vesak is on the same day as Mother's Day). Japan is a bit different due to the Meiji Restoration, such that most holidays, Buddhist or non-Buddhist, now follow the Gregorian Calendar.

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