5th May 2023 by


Wesak, or Vesak, is the most important celebration in Buddhism. It commemorates Buddha’s birthday, this year on the 5th of May. It is the Day of the Full Moon, as the month of May usually has only one full moon. However, if there are two full moons in May, some countries (including Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Malaysia) will celebrate on the first full moon, whereas others (Thailand, Singapore) will celebrate on the second. The day was recognised international by the UN General Assembly in 1999.

Wesak is the commemoration of the day of Buddha’s birth, as well as the day he achieved enlightenment. The teachings of Buddha have been inspiring people for over 2500 years. Buddhists believe that the human life is one of suffering, and that meditation, spiritual and physical labour, and good behaviour are the ways to achieve enlightenment, or nirvana. Wesak is a day where Buddhists can celebrate the message of compassion and devotion.

On Wesak, devout Buddhists and followers will all go to their various temples before dawn for the ceremonial and honourable hoisting of the Buddhist flag and the singing of hymns the praise the holy triple gem: The Buddha: The Dharma (his teachings) ad The Sangha (his disciples). Devotees may bring offerings of flowers, candles, and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teachers. Some Buddhists may also wear simple white clothing and spend the whole day in temples with renewed determination to observe the eight precepts.

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