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Vesak Day 2012 (Vesakha): Buddhist Day

Vesakha Buddhists

Date of Vesak Day in Asian Countries During 2012

As the Buddha teachings are widely accepted due to its teachings of calmness, peace and love shown, the United Nations have declared Vesak day as International Day.

Dates of Vesak Day in 2012:

Taiwan and Hong Kong – April 28th 2012
Sri Lanka – May 5th 2012
India – May 6th 2012
South Korea – May 28th 2012
Thailand – June 4th 2012

The Meaning and Importance of Vesak Day

Vasak day, also known as Vesak day is a Buddhist holiday that is commemorated as the birthday, death and enlightenment of Gautama Buddha. This day is observed in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal as well as the South East Asian countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Malaysia, Phillipines, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

The full name of Vasak is Vesakha and the exact date for this Buddhist celebration varies according to the different traditions in Theravada countries, and is generally celebrated in either April or May, except when it is a leap year where it gets commemorated in June.

Celebrating Vesakha Day

What generally happens on this day, is that devout Buddhists and their followers assemble in various temples just before dawn, where the Buddhist Flag gets hoisted and the singing of hymns takes place in honor of the Buddha, the Dharma (Buddha teachings), and the Sangha (Buddha’s disciples).

Observers will note that Buddhist devotees bring flowers and candles as well as joss-sticks that gets put down at the feet of their teacher. The flowers, candles and joss-sticks serves as reminder that life as we know it is subject to decay and destruction which are symbolized in that the candles and joss-sticks burn up, and the flowers wither away.

Furthermore, devotees and their followers are reminded to make a special effort to refrain from killing anything, and are encouraged to eat vegetarian type foods on the day of the celebration. In places like Sri Lanka, two days are designated for this celebration where all slaughter houses and liquor stores are closed, as decreed by the relevant authorities.

Observers or tourists, who are lucky enough to attend a celebration like Vesak Day, will be surprised to see all the birds, animals, and insects that gets released in their thousands as a symbolic act of giving them their freedom as they were in a sense imprisoned or in captivity. Many devout Buddhist will wear a simple white dress while spending the whole day in the temple.

More Information On The Lord Buddha

During full moon on the night of Vasak, the sixth lunar month, Prince Siddhartha was born on mother Earth for the sole purpose of enlightenment. He came to be on the earth to serve as the light of the world. Much later in his life at the age of 29, he renounced all the royal might, and began his search for the righteous path of enlightenment which was revealed as the Middle Path while meditating 6 years later.

Once he attained the Dhammakay during full moon on the night of Vesak, Prince Siddhartha became the Lord Buddha, the supreme person of no defilement. Forty five years later, at the same full moon night when the Lord Buddha attained Nirvana, he died and left his noble teachings as an inheritance to the world.

Now, more than 2,500 years later, Buddhists worldwide get together on Vesak day to commemorate the celebration for the Lord Buddha as well as showing respect for his many teachings through meditation. Every year, Buddhists from all over, wholeheartedly support and perform various activities to help them recollect the wisdom, purity and compassion that was shown by the Lord Buddha.

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