Vesak Day (Buddhism)

On May 16, 2011

Also known as Buddha's Birthday, Vesak Day is celebrated by Buddhists of all traditions across the world. Vesak celebrates the birth, enlightenment and the great passing away of Gautama Buddha on the one day, the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. This celebration is called Vesak being the name of the month in the Indian calendar.

Vesak Day offers Buddhists an opportunity to reflect on the life and teachings of the Buddha and His universal message of peace, love and compassion. On this day, devout Buddhists and followers are expected and requested to assemble in their various temples before dawn for the ceremonial, and honorable, hoisting of the Buddhist flag and the singing of hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples). Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher.

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