Chotrul Duchen, the Festival of Miracles, is one of the four great Tibetan Buddhist holidays. It occurs on the 15th day of the new year according to the Tibetan calendar. This year it’s March 18th. It’s a different date every year because it’s a lunar calendar.
It’s called the Festival of Miracles for a reason. It’s said that the Buddha performed a miracle each day for 15 days. This served to increase the merit and devotion of his students.
In the 1400s a famous Tibetan Buddhist teacher named Tsongkhapa started a Butter Lamp Festival tradition to celebrate this and that is still followed by many Tibetans today. A butter lamp is kind of like a sculpture and kind of like a candle. People make them in all sorts of shapes and there are even contests.
It’s said that any merit accumulated in the fifteen days between Losar and Chotrul Duchen is multiplied immensely. So, it’s considered a good time to do good deeds, to do some extra meditations, and to reflect on how we want to be better in the new year.
I don’t know if I believe in miracles. And these miracles are big extreme ones like turning a toothpick into a tree or making a lake appear, things that defy all that we know about the world.
I do believe in celebrating the Buddha’s life. I think we can use this time for reflection and special practice periods. We can also reflect on what this faith path is doing for us. The cultivation of mindfulness, wisdom, compassion, and equanimity brings great benefit to us and the people around us. That is something worth celebrating. It seems sometimes like we don’t do enough celebrating in Buddhism. The path to awakening is worth celebrating.
My community the Rime Center is doing an online ceremony to celebrate Chotrul Duchen. The details are below. All times are central. Show up if you’re interested.
Chotrul Duchen Online Puja
Date(s) – 03/18/2022
7:00 pm – 7:30 pm
The Rime Center will be hosting a special puja to commemorate the Chotrul Düchen, the ‘Festival of Miracles’. It is one of the four major Buddhist holidays, and celebrate the fifteen days on which the Buddha displayed a different miracle.
The Rime Center will be hosting a special puja to commemorate the Festival of Miracles. Register in advance for this event to get the Zoom link.