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Official nameVesākha, Buddha Purnima, Vaishaka, Vesak
Also calledBuddha's Birthday or Buddha Day
Observed byAll Buddhist sects
SignificanceThe birth, enlightenment and passing away of Buddha
DateFull moon of the month of Vesākha, usually in May
ObservancesMeditation, Observing the eight precepts, partaking of vegetarian food, giving to charity, "bathing" the Buddha
Related toBuddha'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 is basically Buddha's birthday and 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 | change source]

  1. Fowler, Jeaneane D. (1997). World Religions: An Introduction for Students. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 1-898723-48-6.
  2. "Visakha Puja". Retrieved 20 March 2012.