Vesak Day: Illuminating the Path to Inner Peace!

Imagine a day thriving with joy when neighbourhoods look fascinating with decorations and prayers. That’s Vesak Day! The event is like a huge family reunion where those from different backgrounds come together to honour the Buddha’s life and teachings. We recall how he was born, became enlightened, and put the world on the way to further understanding. 

Vesak Day – a holy day for Buddhists is celebrated as a holiday as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Day across the globe. Vesak Day falls on the full moon. “Vesakha” is not only a religious festival for Buddhists but is a time for joy, a quiet awakening.  This blog uncovers the meanings of Vesak Day – its sacred traditions, and the message of harmony and enlightenment.

Origins and Significance:

Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, Nepal around 563 BC. He was well-known as Buddha whilst Buddhism was spread in various countries. His Buddha’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya and the nirvana at Kushinagar are fondly remembered and honoured on Vesak Day.

Rituals and Celebrations:

There are three main regions of Buddhist practice – Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the West. This day is commemorated with specific religious rites and customs characteristic to those. Countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Cambodia including India, engage themselves in meditation. Flowers, candles and incense offerings are used to show respect.

One of the most impressive rituals of Vesak is the lighting of the colourful lanterns that decorate temples and houses. The lanterns signify the dispelling of the darkness of ignorance and suffering by the enlightenment of wisdom.

What was the real meaning of Vesak – a festival that we sacrificed everything for?

Vesak celebration is famously popular for the beautiful picture of Buddha – in the gesture to show the Truth – which has to stay in the shrine room. Buddhists apply lights (candles, butter lamps) to illuminate their Vesak as a recall of the one who demonstrated that many people could attain different awareness states just like him.

Importance of the Eight Percepts:

The Eight Precepts is to stay away from mundane pleasures and practise spiritual purification.  During this time the devotees strive to cultivate virtues such as non-violence. They try to emulate the noble qualities and behaviours of the Buddha.

Vesak rituals are often characterised by beautiful lantern designs. These lanterns represent the revelation of wisdom that is a source to remove ignorance and suffering.

Another significant element of Vesak Day is the act of keeping the Eight Precepts which entails engaging in Holy practices. 

Why is Buddha’s birthday distinct from Vesak’s day?

The celebration of Buddha’s birthday may follow different customs in different countries. The Buddha has two major nirvana milestones, the first being the attainment of nirvana and the other being parinirvana which is his death. For Tibetan communities in South and Southeast Asia, this celebration is not solely for the birth of the Buddha but also for both of his nirvana.

Vesak Day

What are the Three Universal Truths?

  • Life is temporary and always transforms.
  • Since, nothing remains there forever and your attachment to objects and people is a source of your happiness; therefore, you still remain unhappy.
  • While the doctrine maintains that there is no eternal and “the self” just a mixture of traits changing over duration.

Which food is consumed during Vesak?

What kind of dishes are featured at the Vesak festival? The Food and Fun: Buddhists partake in any number of Asian dishes on Vesak, but consume no meat — a symbol of their compassion for all living things.


Vesak Day is considered a valuable proof of the lasting influence of Buddha’s life and teachings on human civilisation. Vesak Day sheds this light on our hearts with the bright light of wisdom and love, surpassing the confinements of ego and ignorance. Buddhists decorate their houses with flowers and lanterns and also make beautiful rangoli’s in front of their homes.

Let the Vesak Day spirit move us to the righteous path and assist us in contributing towards the creation of a more compassionate and peaceful world for future generations. Vesak Day is a day to be cherished when we remember the Buddha’s life and his teachings. It reminds us to be gentle, calm, and far-sighted as Buddha instructed. Irrespective of any religion each one is devoted and spreads joy and happiness with respect and understanding. The teachings of Buddha are enlightening hence called the enlightened one in the history of mankind.

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