There are 4 major Special Buddha days or “Festivals” (düchen) in a year which relate to the life of Buddha Shakyamuni. During these days, it is said that the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied 100 million times, so practice is strongly advised.
During the first two weeks of the new year, it is celebrated that the Buddha displayed a miracle each day to increase the merit and devotion of future disciples. The 15th day of the 1st month is the “Day of Miracles“.
Saga Dawa Düchen:
It combines Buddha Shakyamuni’s birth on the 7th day of the 4th month with the 15th day of the 4th month, Buddha Shakyamuni’s Enlightenment and Parinirvana.
On his Enlightenment at the age of 35 in Bodhgaya, the Buddha proclaimed:
profound peace, natural simplicity, uncompound luminocity, I have found a nectar like Dharma
When Buddha lay dying in a forest grove in Kushinagara, surrounded by 500 of his disciples, he said to them with his last breath:
It is in the nature of all things that take form to dissolve again. Strive with your whole being to attain perfection
Chökhor Düchen: the 4th day of the 6th month, the “First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma” (first teaching) is celebrated. For the first seven weeks after his Enlightenment, Buddha did not teach. Encouraged by Indra and Brahma, he then gave his first teachings at Sarnath on the Four Noble Truths.
Lha Bab Düchen: the 22nd day of the 9th month, ‘Buddha Shakyamuni’s Descent from the Heaven of 33‘ is celebrated.
Buddha’s mother had been reborn in Indra’s heaven. To repay her kindness and to benefit the gods, Buddha spent three months teaching in the Heaven of 33. This is not as often stated, in Tushita heaven; Tushita is the realm where the Buddha lived before he descended to Earth. Possibly somewhat confusing can be that one week before, on the 15th of the 9th month, it is celebrated that he accepted to return from the Heaven of 33.
Buddha Shakyamuni, litt. ‘the Sage of the Shakyas,’ is our historical buddha, the Indian prince Gautama Siddhartha, who reached enlightenment (and thus became a buddha) in the sixth century B.C.