Buddha Jayanti celebrates the birth of Buddha with an all night vigil of butter lamps and electric lights in late April or early May at the Swayambhunath stupa in Kathmandu valley.
Overshadowing hundreds of smaller images, a massive gilded figure of Buddha is carried in colorful procession down the many steps to a cloiter where religious rites continue throughout the day before the Buddha is returned to its hilltop shrine.
At the Bodhnath stupa, on the other side of the valley, and image of Buddha is mounted on the back of an elephant and paraded around the dome. Ribbons of colorful flags stretch from the gilt-copper pyramid that surmounts the stupa, as the monks below blow their long copper horns. In the crescendo of the climax everyone hurls fistfuls of ground wheat into the air.
The centerpiece of the festivities is the large portrait of the Dalai Lama held head high and shielded under a large canopy.
Gunla (July to August) is a month-long celebration marked by massive pilgrimages to the Buddhist shrine at Swayambhunath.