On Monday, Nepal commemorated the birth of Buddha, while in the midst of grappling with a national tragedy from an earthquake that resulted in more than 7,000 deaths.

Buddha Purnima marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, and is considered to be the most sacred festival celebrated by Buddhists. Different countries celebrate Buddha Purnima on different days according to different religious calendars, and the festival’s name varies from country to country. The occasion is marked by offerings of flower, incense and candles, an exchange of gifts as blessings, prayers, sermons and group meditations.