The Banni tree
The Banni tree

Vesaka or Wesaka, better known as Buddha Purnima was celebrated in India on the 4th of May; some countries celebrate it on June 1st. This informally called Buddha Jayanthi or the birthday of Buddha, however this is the day of that commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the death of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada tradition.

The exact day is the full moon of the Vaishaka month of the Asian Lunar-Solar calendar.  The exact date changes when read through the Gregorian calendar all the same it generally falls in the month of May.

Vesaka is the colloquial rendering of the lunar month of Vaishaka of the Hindu-Buddhist calendar. The decision of celebrate this as the birthday of Buddha was formalized in the first conference of world fellowship of Buddhists held in1950 at Srilanka

In 1999 UN resolved to internationally observe the day of Vesak at its headquarters and office.

On this day the Buddhists assemble in their temples before dawn for the ceremonial and honourable hoisting of the Buddhist flag.  Hymns in praise of  the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha are sung. Simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks are laid at the feet of the teacher if the student wishes so. These simple offerings are very profound in their message they talk of the temporariness of everything in this world.

People re-affirm their commitment to the Dharma and Buddha in their personal lives.

The resolution on the world fellowship of Buddhist in 1950

 “ That this Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, while recording its appreciation of the gracious act of His Majesty, the Maharaja of Nepal in making the full-moon day of Vesak a Public Holiday in Nepal, earnestly requests the Heads of Governments of all countries in which large or small number of Buddhists are to be found, to take steps to make the full-moon day in the month of May a Public Holiday in honour of the Buddha, who is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest benefactors of Humanity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: