This most important Buddhist festival is known as either Wesak, Vesak or Buddha Day, and is celebrated annually on the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha, which usually falls in May, or in early June. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the death of Buddha.
The day is observed as a public holiday in many Southeast Asian countries and is marked by special devotional services and various deeds intended to be meritorious, such as the presentation of food or alms to monks or the release of captive birds.
Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers and candles to lay at the feet of their teacher. These symbolic offerings are to remind followers that just as the beautiful flowers would wither away after a short while, and the candles would soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction.
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