Bodhi Day

Rohatsu/ Laba/ Bodhi Day: December 8



Rohatsu, Laba and Bodhi Day are all different names for the celebration of the Enlightenment of the the Buddha.

In much of the world is is known as Bodhi Day. In China it is known as the festival of Laba, while in Japan it is known as Rohatsu.

The religion known as Buddhism dates back to the 6th or 5th Century BCE, when the Indian Prince Siddhartha Gautama became the “Buddha,” literally, “the Enlightened One.” The followers of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism observe Rohatsu, Laba, or Bodhi Day, in celebration of the day that the Buddha sat below the Bodhi Tree and meditated on the meaning of life. 

The Great Buddha at  KĊtoku-in, Kamakura, Japan
source: Wikimedia Commons; Bgabel at wikivoyage shared, CC BY-SA 3.0

This day is celebrated mainly by the Buddhists of northern and eastern Asia, and in countries to which those people have immigrated (such as Canada). To many this holiday is known as Bodhi Day and it occurs on the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar year. With the Japanese adoption of the western calendar (Gregorian) Rohatsu is fixed on December 8th.

For more on Rohutsu and the life of the Buddha:

and these books in your School Library:

Asian Canadians

Asia is a big place. Really big. Today nearly 2 in 3 human beings live in Asia. That’s over 4 billion people. Asia is the biggest continent by area, divided into many regions and nearly 50 different countries.

Nearly 20% of Canadians trace their family heritage to Asia. Some are recent immigrants while some families have been here for generations. Canadians of Asian descent have brought a multitude of languages, beliefs, histories and cultural practices to contribute to Canada as we know it today.

During the month of May we will be celebrating the great contributions of Canadians of Asian Heritage to the development of our country. We will also look at the many contributions of Asian culture, art, food, history and more. We will see that Asia is an incredibly diverse place and has made incredibly diverse contributions to Canada.

Come down to the School Library to see some of our titles on display for Asian Heritage Month. Here are just a few: