Modhu Purnima (Bangla for 'honey full-moon') is a Buddhist festival celebrated in India and Bangladesh, especially in the region of Chittagong. It occurs on the day of the full moon in the month of Bhadro (August/September).

Buddha with monkey

Painting from Laos

The day commemorates an occasion on which the Buddha retreated to the wilderness to bring peace between two squabbling factions of disciples. According to legend, a monkey and an elephant fed him during this time, the elephant bringing fruit and the monkey bringing honey. The monkey was so excited when the Buddha accepted his gift that he began leaping from tree to tree and fell to his death. However, he immediately achieved nirvana as a reward for his generosity.

Madhu Purnima is celebrated as a joyous day of unity and charity. Buddhists observe it by bringing gifts of honey to monasteries.

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