Celebration of the birthday of Sangha members


Are there any guidance from the Buddha on the celebration of the birthdays of Sangha members?


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:grinning: I think most monastics would prefer it if you would simply forget their birthday.

But to answer your question: no. The Buddha just taught us that birth is suffering and every birthday is one year closer to your death. So what is there to celebrate?


I was at a retreat recently where there were, at times, as many as 50 monks in attendance. On one day, one of the laypeople providing lunch brought a large birthday cake to celebrate one of the monk’s birthday. As with many things I have observed, the act was more for the benefit of laypeople than the monks’. To my mind, there didn’t seem to be any harm done, and after the monks collected their food the laypeople descended on the birthday cake. Since I am seeking to cut down on simple carbs in my diet, I opted for fresh fruit!

Edit: To be clear, many of the monks had a piece of cake along with the laypeople. Never discount the allure of flour, water, and sugar :grin:


Just give them a nicely gift wrapped box with nothing in it!