The exact date of the Day of Vesak is based on Asian lunisolar calendars and is primarily celebrated in Vaisakha, a month of both the Buddhist and Hindu calendars. Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and millions of people around the world follow the teachings of Buddha. Vesak is also known as Saka Dawa (Tibetan)
Siddhartha Gautama was born in Nepal and lived during the 5th Century BC. He is the founder of Buddhism. He was born into a wealthy family but decided to give up his lavish lifestyle. Still not fulfilled, he promoted the idea of the “Middle Way,” which means existing between two extremes; a life without indulgence but also without deprivation. After many years of searching, he found enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree. He dedicated his life to teaching others how to achieve this spiritual state. He passed away in around 483 B.C. After his death, his teachings became the foundation for what would develop into Buddhism.
On Vesak, followers assemble in their temples before dawn for the ceremonial hoisting of the Buddhist flag. Followers will also sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings), and the Sangha (his disciples).
It is a day centred around kindness and good deeds.
Many Buddhists will do good deeds, bring offerings to the temple, and share food with people. Buddha placed much value on life, and many of his most important teachings revolve around compassion.
TO OBSERVE DAY OF VESAK:
Reflecton the teachings
Spend the day reflecting on the teachings of Buddha. Even if you are not a Buddhist, you can learn a lot of things from Buddhist philosophy, such as the value of balance and moderation in life.
Perform the Bathing the Buddha Ceremony
Hold a Bathing the Buddha ceremony by pouring water over the shoulders of a Buddha. This is done to remind people to clear their minds of negative thoughts. If you have differing religious beliefs, you may also take the ritual metaphorically and try to cleanse yourself of bad emotions and habits.
Dress in white
Wear special white clothes to mark this occasion and try to eat a vegetarian diet for the day. Buddhists are vegetarian because they believe in reincarnation and that all meat was once someone’s father, mother, or child; even as a non-Buddhist, it is a reminder that we should value the life of all living beings.