Millions of Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day, an officially recognized United Nations (UN) holiday that celebrates the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Celebrate Vesak Day
The UN celebrates Vesak Day (or the Day of Vesak) with Buddhist organizations and communities worldwide. Celebrations include:
- Cultural performances featuring song and dance.
- Plays about Buddha’s life and teachings.
- Public messages given by religious and community leaders.
Temples are adorned with decorations and flowers on Vesak Day. Some community groups organize acts of charity, like releasing caged animals or donating food and gifts to the poor.
Vesak Day is a global observance, as well as a public holiday in some countries, such as India.
About Vesak Day
Siddhartha Gautama, also commonly known as Buddha (enlightened one), lived in present-day India and Nepal between the sixth and fourth century BCE. His teachings focused on messages about compassion, peace and goodwill. Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha today. The Day of Vesak commemorates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.
In 1999 the UN recognized internationally Vesak Day to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over 2500 years. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices and missions.
Day of Vesak Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Thu||May 27||2010||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|
|Tue||May 17||2011||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|
|Sun||May 6||2012||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|
|Sat||May 25||2013||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|
|Tue||May 13||2014||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|
|Mon||Jun 1||2015||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|
|Fri||May 20||2016||Day of Vesak||United Nations observance|