Has anyone noticed that there are different dates marked on the calendar for Vesak Day across different countries?
A quick Wiki got me the answer.
The exact date of Vesak is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars and is primarily celebrated in Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar and the Hindu calendar, and hence the name Vesak. In Nepal, which is considered the birth-country of Buddha, it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Hindu calendar, and is traditionally called Buddha Purnima, Purnima meaning the full moon day in Sanskrit. In Theravada countries following the Buddhist calendar, it falls on a full moon Uposatha day, typically in the 5th or 6th lunar month. Nowadays, in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Vesak/Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the day of the full moon in May in the Gregorian calendar. In Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Vesak is celebrated on the fourteenth or fifteenth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. In China, and Korea, Vietnam, Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, in Japan the same day but in the Gregorian calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but usually falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June.
In a nutshell, I would say that the differences is due to the different calendars (Buddhist, Hindu, Gregorian and Lunar) the various countries use to mark Vesak Day. But what is pretty typical is that they fall on a Full Moon day during the period of April to May.
This year in Singapore, our Vesak day is on 29 April 2018, the 15th day of our Chinese lunar calendar.
But no matter which day you have your Vesak Day, it should be a day to celebrate Buddha.
This year, BW Monastery is having a showcasing of its Monastery keepsake of Buddha collarbone relics at a public event at Big Box from 19 to 20 May. Among a carnival type atmosphere, devotees as well as curious passersby can learn more about Buddhism and participate in some of the activities.
So check it out today!
(I am kinda late in plugging this event…but better late than never )