On Magha Puja Day, across Buddhist countries, Buddhists assemble at the temple in the morning, to observe the five precepts. They also listen to a sermon, offer food to monks, practice meditation, or take part in other forms of meritorious activities. Buddhists also perform circumambulation, or the walking around a shrine or a Buddha image three times as a gesture of faith and respect in the Triple Gem.
Magha Puja day is the full moon day in the month of Magha, the date on which the Tathagata the Worthy One, Rightly Self awakened held the four factored meeting of His disciples and gave the Patimokkha Exhortation.
At that time, 1,250 monks all entirely free of defilements, all recipients of the Come-Bhikkhu ordination, all unnotified of the meeting came to the Blessed One's presence in the Squirrels' Feeding Ground in the Bamboo Forest on the afternoon of the full moon day in Magha. In that meeting, the Blessed One led an utterly pure full moon observance and gave the Patimokkha Exhortation (Ovada Patimokkha) .
This was the only time our Blessed One held a four factored meeting with His disciples, 1,250 monks, all entirely free of defilement.
Now, on this same date the full moon day in Magha remembering the Blessed One, even though He long ago gained Total Liberation, we have come to this memorial to him.
We take these offerings candles, incense, & so forth and make our bodies a vessel for them.
Reflecting on the Blessed One's virtues as they actually are, we will circumambulate the Mahadhamakaya Cetiya three times, paying homage to Him with the offerings we hold.
Although the Blessed One, together with that Community of His Noble Disciples, long ago attained total Liberation, they are remembered through their virtues.
May He accept the offerings we hold, for the sake of our long term welfare & happiness.