Vesak

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Vesākha
Vesākha
Official name Vesākha, Buddha Purnima, Vaishaka, Vesak
Also called Buddha's Birthday or Buddha Day
Observed by All Buddhist sects
Type Religious
Significance The birth, enlightenment and passing away of Buddha
Date Full moon of the month of Vesākha, usually in May
Observances Meditation, Observing the eight precepts, partaking of vegetarian food, giving to charity, "bathing" the Buddha
Related to Buddha's Birthday

Vesākha or Vesak is a holy day. It is observed traditionally by Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the South East Asian countries of Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, and Indonesia.[1] Sometimes it is called "Buddha's Birthday". It actually includes the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and passing away (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha.[2]

The exact date of Vesākha varies according to the lunar calendars used in different traditions. In Theravada countries following the Buddhist calendar, it falls on a full moon Uposatha day. This is typically in the 5th or 6th lunar month. Vesākha Day in China is on the eighth of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar. It usually falls in April or May. In leap years Vesākha is celebrated in June.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Fowler, Jeaneane D. (1997). World Religions: An Introduction for Students. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 1-898723-48-6.
  2. "Visakha Puja". Accesstoinsight.org. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/visakha.html. Retrieved 20 March 2012.