Bangladesh’s Buddhist community celebrated Probarona Purnima, their second largest festival, on Wednesday.
This full moon day signifies the end of the three month Lent of Bhikkhus.
To mark the day, Buddhists fly lighted balloons made of thin paper which is also called Phanus Baji, in the evening.
When Buddha renounced the world, he cut his hair and threw it into the air, saying: "If my aim and mission of renunciation are fruitful, this tress of hair will go upwards, and if my object and ambition becomes fruitless, it will fall on the ground.”
Buddhists believe that the tress of hair went flying into the sky according to the will of Gautama. Launching the sky lanterns is a symbol and commemoration of Gautama's emphatic prediction.
Also known as Ashwini Purnima, the festival marks the conclusion of the three-month long seclusion of the monks inside their monasteries for self-edification and atonement of their defilement.
The festival follows a month-long preaching of sermons by the Buddhist monks for the welfare of every being and whole humankind through yellow robes offering a ceremony that begins on that day.