One widely spread tradition for Buddha's Birthday that is found in most schools of Buddhism is the washing of the baby Buddha. According to legend, when Buddha was born, he took seven steps and declared, "I alone am the World-Honored One". He then pointed up with one hand and down with the other, which symbolized that he would unite heaven and earth. It is said that the seven steps represent seven directions: north, south, east, west, up, down, and here. The tradition of washing the baby Buddha honors this moment. The process begins with a statue of the baby Buddha being placed on a stand inside an elevated basin. People come up to the alter and pour water or tea on the tiny figurine with a ladle to symbolically wash the baby Buddha.
|Hanging Lanterns in the Streets
|The Washing of the Baby Budhha