Patheos Watermark

You are running a very outdated version of Internet Explorer. Patheos and most other websites will not display properly on this version. To better enjoy Patheos and your overall web experience, consider upgrading to the current version of Internet Explorer. Find more information HERE.

Rituals and Worship

Sacred Time

Early Buddhists sought to escape from time. Their goal was nirvana, which is beyond experience and thus not a form of sacred time. Later developments deconstructed the nirvana/samsara dichotomy.

Sacred Space

Buddhist sacred spaces include stupas, containing relics of the Buddha or other monks, and the monastic complexes that grow up around them. Some mountains are also considered sacred.

Rites and Ceremonies

Buddhist ritual calendars vary widely, but all usually include celebrations of the Buddha's birthday and the New Year. Other ceremonies typical of Buddhism are pilgrimages and rituals surrounding death.

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

The daily life of a Buddhist monk is quite different from that of a lay person. The interrelationship between the two reflects a symbiosis that revolves around the concept of merit.


Early Buddhist symbols include the Buddha's footprint, the dharma wheel, and the stupa. Other symbols include mudras, mandalas, and monk's robes. Different Buddhist countries also have their own unique symbols.