Buddha Purnima

In India, Buddha Purnima is celebrated on first full moon of the Month of Vaishakha to honour the birth, nirvana (enlightenment) as well Mahaparinirvana (death) of Gautam Buddha.

Importance of Full Moon of May

Even though every full moon day is auspicious, the most important one is the full moon in May as all three major events of the life of Buddha took place on this day in different years. Three major events are:

  • Buddha was born at Lumbini on the full moon day in May.
  • He attained enlightenment or Nirvana under the shade of the Bodhi Tree and became Gautama Buddha on the full moon day of May as well.
  • After years of teaching about truth, he passed away on the full moon day of May and attained salvation or Mahaparinirvana.

Buddha Purnima and Vesak

The Birthday of Buddha is also celebrated as Vesak in several countries of South and Southeast Asia. On this day, Countries all over world such as Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, United States (US) celebrate the essence of Buddhism. It is public holiday in many countries, and is celebrated by commemorating different ethnicities and cultures.

Vesak Day

As per the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 54/115 adopted in 1999, the first full moon of May is recognized as internationally Day of Vesak. United Nations recognized this day to acknowledge contribution of Buddhism in world.


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