Things You Need to Know about Vesak Day

May 13, 2014 marked the Vesak Day. There were more than 15,000 visitors who attended the Vesak Day here in Singapore. Many people came to the Singapore Buddhist Welfare Services to attend the Vesak Grand Assembly. Devotees took part in prayers and 14000 goodie bags were distributed. It was followed by a vegetarian lunch and bathing ritual.


If you are not a Buddhist, this is the time that you understand Vesak and why it is celebrated. Here are the things that you need to know about Vesak Day:

  • In commemoration of Buddha: Vesak Day is celebrated in commemoration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and nirvana.


  • Vesak Day date: Vesak is celebrated by all Buddhists around the world. The date varies depending on the calendar used. For countries following the Gregorian calendar, Vesak usually falls in May or June. In China, Korea and Japan, it is celebrated on April 8. Here in Singapore, Vesak Day was celebrated in May 13.
  • Common practice: On the day of the ceremonies, it is common practice to release caged birds. It is the symbol of liberation for Buddhists. However, the National Parks Board have discouraged the Buddhists against this practice.
  • Public holiday: Vesak Day is a Public holiday. It was made holiday in 1955 because of public petitions.

Vesak Day is not only for Buddhists because everyone is invited to join the festivities. If you did not get the chance to join the festivities this year, you can always look forward to next year’s festivities and celebrations. You should mark May 13 in your calendar so you will not forget about it.


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