Vesak Day [6 May]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 5, 2022, 4:49

Vesak Day is celebrated on 6 May every year and is considered a Holy Day for Buddhists around the world. On this day, people commemorate the birth, enlightenment and final Nirvana of the Lord Buddha. Vesak is also called Wesak and is celebrated on a full moon's day in May. It signifies three things:

  1. The day Buddha was born.
  2. The day he attained enlightenment.
  3. The day he left the mortal body.

What is Vesak Day?

Vesak Day is a day when people are supposed to pray, meditate and do good deeds. Buddha's teachings are conveyed in the main prayers of Vesak and they describe:

  1. The significance of the three jewels.
  2. The significance of meditation.
  3. The importance of living in harmony with nature and others.
  4. The correctness of universal love and compassion in every aspect of life.
  5. The importance of universal peace and freedom from suffering.

Vesak Day Significance

The significance of Vesak Day lies in the fact that it is the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha and the day when he attained Enlightenment. All Buddhist people around the world celebrate Vesak Day by doing meditation, offering flowers and food to monks, and chanting prayers. The following facts should be remembered on Vesak Day.

  1. Vesak is celebrated on a full moon's day in May. On this day, people meditate and do good deeds.
  2. Vesak dates back 5000 years.
  3. Vesak was also considered a holy day by many ancient civilisations like Greeks, Egyptians and Celts many centuries ago.
  4. The Greek poet Homer says: The beginning of the world was not when the maker of heaven and earth fashioned it, but when lighted first appeared” The world is said to have begun with a ray of light from Buddha's eyes.
  5. The Buddha was born at a time of great darkness and despair. He left a golden age and brought back to people the knowledge of goodness. The world has come to be what it is today because of his teachings.
  6. He said that the best way for man to end suffering is to live in harmony with nature and others. He also said that true happiness lies only in achieving enlightenment so that man would become free from ignorance, suffering and rebirths in future lives.
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How is Vesak Day celebrated every year?

Vesak festival is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm. People make arrangements to attend the Buddhist festival. In ancient times, monks used to move from one place to another. They would stay in a place for three days and then leave after the celebration of Vesak Day. However, today people have organised Vesak Day celebrations in their houses where monks are invited and preaching takes place on the significance of Vesak as a holy day for Buddhists.

On this occasion, Arhats take out processions around the city singing hymns praising Buddha's life and teachings. The pictures of Buddha are also brought out in processions to be worshipped by devotees.

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Vesak Day History

The celebrations of Vesak Day provide an opportunity to understand the life, teachings and enlightenment of Lord Buddha. On this day of Vesak, people meditate, visit monasteries and temples and listen to sermons on the significance of Vesak. The Buddhists around the world commemorate the day in a special way by praying for peace, happiness and freedom from suffering in their life.

Philosophy is not something that a layman would think to be-a systemising and organisation of knowledge as it is generally believed today. It is a question about meaning and truth that may not be limited to any one particular area but shall include all beings living without any boundaries between them.

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FAQs on Vesak Day

Q1: What is one of the major features of Vesak Day?

Vesak Day is celebrated on the full moon's day (Vesak) in May and a special prayer is performed.

Q2: What is the significance of Vesak Day?

The significance of Vesak Day shows that the life, teachings and enlightenment of Lord Buddha are important for those who worship Him. It is a period when people meditate, venerate and praise Lord Buddha by making prayers and conducting rituals.

Q3: Why is Vesak Day celebrated?

The importance of Vesak Day can be rightly understood from the fact that it marks the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha and also his attainment of enlightenment. Vesak is the main festival of Buddhists around the world and it is celebrated in many countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and others. On this day, religious people make prayers for peace, enlightenment and immortality of Lord Buddha for which they perform rituals.

Q4: When is Vesak Day celebrated?

Vesak Day is celebrated on 6 May every year and is considered a Holy Day for Buddhists around the globe.

Q5: How is the Vesak festival celebrated every year?

On Vesak Day people organise a gathering in their houses where monks are invited and preaching takes place on the significance of Vesak as a Holy Day for Buddhists. On this occasion, Arhats take out processions around the city singing hymns praising Buddha's life and teachings.