Vesak, or Buddha Day, is celebrated worldwide every year on the day of the full moon in May. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition
Buddhists request governments everywhere that Buddhists live, to take steps to make the day of the May full-moon a Public Holiday in honor of the Buddha.
To celebrate, devout Buddhists and followers assemble in temples before dawn for the ceremonial and honorable hoisting of the Buddhist flag. They sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples).
Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles to lay at the feet of their teacher and to make a concerted effort to refrain from killing of any kind.
Another way they mark the day is by taking special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. So, on this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes.
HOW TO OBSERVE
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The birth of Buddha has been celebrated for centuries. In 1950, the World Fellowship of Buddhists agreed to formalized and unify the day.
In 1999, the United Nations resolved to internationally observe the day of Vesak.
The name of the observance is derived from the Pali term vesākha or Sanskrit vaiśākha, which is the name of the lunar month used in ancient India falling in April–May.
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