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Vesak Day: Basic things you need to know about the most sacred day to Buddhists around the world

News & Updates, 16:00 PM, May, 09 2024
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Vesak Day, taking place on the fourth full moon, commemorates the life and wisdom of Gautama Buddha and is the most sacred day to Buddhist followers and Buddhist lovers in the world.

With a large-scale of celebration, Vesak 2024 is expected to bring new and interesting experiences you should not miss!

1. What is Vesak and when is it celebrated?

According to the United Nations, Vesak Day commemorates three great events in the Buddha's life: his birth, enlightenment, and death (entering nirvana). The date for Vesak Day comes from the Buddha's birthday, which falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month.

In 1950, the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) passed a resolution that recognized the fifteenth of the fourth lunar month each year as the official day to celebrate Vesak. In the solar calendar, this day usually falls around May. However, the Vesak festival can last one week or even a month in some other places.

Let's raise Buddhist flags to welcome the Vesak Celebration!

Let's raise Buddhist flags to welcome the Vesak Celebration!

2. The meaning of Vesak Day

2.1. The day of commemoration

The appearance of the Buddha in this world is extremely rare — much rarer than the Udumbara flower blooming once every thousand years. He was the one who embarked on a long 49-year journey to propagate the Dharma and illuminate the truth for sentient beings. Thus, we celebrate Vesak Day to commemorate significant milestones in the Buddha's life and praise his merits and virtue.

2.2. The day for Dharma propagation

Many people wonder why Vesak is organized in such a great and magnificent manner. Is it necessary?

Sharing his thoughts on this matter, Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh said: "Vesak is not only a day of celebrating the Buddha's birthday but also a celebration for propagating the Buddha Dharma. The Buddha is a great man who brought the light of truth and introduced a path of liberation to this world.

Therefore, celebrating and promoting this event is of significance so that many people can form even a connection with the Buddha Dharma. As such, they can approach the truth, end suffering, and reach liberation. If we want everyone to be free from suffering, we must make the Dharma widely spread. It is truly a beneficial action."

Indeed, the Buddha's appearance in the world brings great benefits to the masses; it will also bring immense blessings to those who rejoice, praise, and pay homage to him on this sacred commemorative celebration. Even if just a bit of compliment and joy arise in one's mind when browsing the internet or passing by the festival, he or she can receive blessings now or in the future and form a connection with Buddha Dharma.

Therefore, as Vesak draws near, let us spread the meaningful messages and spirit of the celebration to everyone!

Capture joyful and memorable moments during the Vesak Day!

Capture joyful and memorable moments during the Vesak Day!

3. How is Vesak Day celebrated?

Every year, on the fourth lunar month, Buddhists worldwide eagerly prepare to celebrate Vesak Day. They do good deeds according to Buddha's teachings, such as observing Buddhist precepts and organizing charitable activities.

On the day of the festival, a lively and bustling yet sacred atmosphere seems to spread to all. The festive and spiritual activities are held spectacularly and variedly, with notable events such as the Buddha bathing ceremony and lantern parade. All of those contribute to preserving and promoting Buddhist cultural traditions.

A lantern parade at Ba Vang Pagoda, Vietnam - a spectacular sight to behold on Vesak Day

A lantern parade at Ba Vang Pagoda, Vietnam - a spectacular sight to behold on Vesak Day

Recently, Vesak Day has increasingly gained acceptance in Vietnam and received much attention from government officials and people. Its large scale of celebration with impressive religious activities has attracted tens of thousands of people to explore and experience.

You can attend the Grand Celebration of Vesak at Ba Vang Pagoda in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, a prominent place to celebrate Buddhist festivals. Here, under the guidance of Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh, the abbot, Ba Vang Pagoda organizes a series of activities to commemorate Buddha Day, such as releasing animals, doing charity work, or donating blood. From these activities, many people get closer to Buddhism, thus later practicing the Buddha's teachings and enjoying peace and happiness.

Crowded, vibrant, and emotional - that is what you might feel when joining Vesak Day at Ba Vang Pagoda

Crowded, vibrant, and emotional - that is what you might feel when joining Vesak Day at Ba Vang Pagoda

As Vesak Day comes, myriads of Buddhists and people at home and abroad all gather at Ba Vang Pagoda. Buddhist flags are hoisted and everyone sings Vesak songs such as “Joy for the Buddha's Birth” and “Buddhism brings peace to the world”, etc., to share joy and happiness with each other.

Lay Buddhists also vow to observe Buddhist precepts and pray for their families to be safe and for their country to be peaceful and prosperous.

When participating in the grand festival, you will also engage with the sacred and serene atmosphere of the Vesak rituals such as sutra chanting and the Buddha bathing ceremony.

Bathing the Buddha brings blessings and peace to the offerers. In addition, it also represents the wish to purify one's mind so that wisdom will arise and the inner Buddha in each of us will be born.

This year, the Grand Celebration of Vesak at Ba Vang Pagoda will take place on May 11-12, 2024 (the 4th-5th day of the fourth lunar month), and is expected to bring you impressive and unforgettable experiences.

We hope you will have the opportunity to participate and fully enjoy the joy throughout the festival at the Pagoda.

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