Vesak Day in Singapore

Vesak Day Singapore

What is Vesak Day 

Vesak is a Buddhist festival celebrated by Buddhists in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, and Mongolia. It is also known as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, and Buddha Day. The festival is celebrated by followers of Theravada Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Navayana to honor Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment (Nibbana), and Parinirvna. 

The lunar month of Vaisakha, often known as the birth month of Buddha, gets its name, Vesak, from the Pali word 'veshka' or the Sanskrit 'vaikha.'

The holiday's Sanskrit name (Vaikha) and derivative versions are used in Mahayana Buddhist contexts.

While Bodhi Day and Nibbna Day commemorate the Buddha's enlightenment and death, respectively, in the East Asian tradition, a celebration of Buddha's birthday typically happens around the traditional schedule of Vesak. In South Asian culture, the full moon of the Vaisakha month commemorates the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death, known as Vesak.

Vesak Day - All Quick Overview

  • Time/Date: May 5 
  • Category:Religious
  • Where It’s Marked:Nepal, India, Singapore
  • Why It’s Marked: Buddha’s birth is celebrated as part of a festival called ‘Vesak,’

History Of Vesak Day

Vesak is commemorated in a wide variety of ways around the globe due to Buddhism's assimilation into several non-Indian civilizations during its journey from India. On Vesak Day, Buddhists throughout the globe remember three of Gautama Buddha's major life milestones: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. According to Indian mythology, Buddha was born on Vaishakh Purnima, a day also known as Buddha Jayanti.

The United Nations (U.N.) adopted a resolution in 2000 to mark Vesak as a global holiday.

How to Celebrate Vesak Day

Due to the average interval of 29.5 days between full moons, May may have a rare occurrence of two full moons. Some nations, such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Malaysia, commemorate Vesak on the first full moon of May, while others, such as Thailand and Singapore, wait until the second full moon. Even the timing of other Buddhist festivals, which are often celebrated around the time of the local full moon, varies depending on location.

Devout Buddhists and their followers gather at temples around the world before dawn on Vesak for the raising of the Buddhist flag and the chanting of hymns in honor of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, the Buddhist community (his disciples). Flowers, candles, and joss sticks are acceptable tokens of devotion for students to leave at their mentor's feet. The lovely flowers offered here will wilt and die after some time, and the candles and joss sticks will burn out, symbolizing the impermanence and ephemerality of all things in life. Followers are encouraged to go out of their way to avoid any violence. Vegetarian fare is recommended for the day. Certain nations, notably Sri Lanka, dedicate two days to Vesak celebrations, during which all bars and slaughterhouses are required by law to be closed.

Thousands of birds, insects, and animals are also rescued from confinement, imprisonment, or torture via a practice called "life release." (However, other nations like Singapore have outlawed the practice since the released animals either won't survive or would harm the local ecology.)

To reinvigorate their commitment to following the eight commandments, some ardent Buddhists would dress simply in white and spend the whole day in temples.

Initiate monk during the Vesak Day Celebration

Buddhists who believe in the teachings take on the responsibility of living a good life by affirming daily that they will follow the Five Precepts. However, they follow the eight commandments on important days, such as the new moon and full moon, to help them develop the virtues of morality, simplicity, and humility.

A miniature Buddha statue is often placed in front of the altar in a little basin adorned with flowers and filled with water or sweet tea for worshippers to pour over the statue as an act of worship. Doing so represents a practitioner's negative karma being washed away and is a reenactment of the heavenly sacrifices presented to the Buddha after his birth.

Attending monk sermons is a requirement for devotees. On this day, monks will repeat phrases said by the Buddha 2,5 millennia ago to bring about peace and happiness in the government and the people. The Buddha encouraged his followers to respect the views of others and to seek out ways to coexist peacefully with those of other religions.

Countries that Observe Vesak Day

Vesak Day is observed in Nepal, Singapore and India.

Interesting Facts about Vesak Day

  • An integral aspect of the festivities is doing acts of kindness.
  • Vesak is observed in a variety of ways by Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists.
  • Each and everyone to take part in the festivities.
  • Flowers and joss sticks abound in the temples.
  • After seeing the Buddha's bath, many followers choose to forego meat for the day.

Unique Vesak Day Celebration Ideas

It is a religious festival, so no prominent unique celebration ideas are found.

Vesak Day Quotes

"Rely on the teachings, not on the person
Rely on the meaning, not on the words
Rely on real life, not on the dreams
Rely on the wisdom, not on the mind inside
Greetings on the occasion of Buddha Purnima! Happy Vesak!"

"May you be on the path of eternal happiness and peace. Happy Buddha Purnima! Happy Vesak!"

"We live in illusion and the appearance of things.
There is a reality. We are that reality.
When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.
Happy Buddha Purnima! Happy Vesak!"


1. Vesak: what is it, and why do we celebrate it?

Millions of Buddhists celebrate "Vesak," the Day of the Full Moon in May, as the holiest day of the year. This event marks the beginning of the Buddhist calendar by almost two millennia. The Buddha was born in 623 B.C., on the Day of Vesak.

2. To what extent should we observe Vesak Day?

In honor of the full moon, many Buddhists will visit their temples and sometimes spend the whole day and night there. People will volunteer at shelters, deliver food to the homeless, feed the homeless, feed the hungry, chant, meditate, reflect on Buddhist teachings, and make contributions to the temple.

3. How many days does Vesak last?

For roughly a week around the time of the full moon in the lunar month of Vesak (often in the Gregorian month of May), people of all faiths in Sri Lanka gather to celebrate Vesak as a religious and cultural celebration.

4. What does one do on Wesak?

Buddhists might reflect on the lessons to be learned from the Buddha's life on the occasion of Wesak. They celebrate with other Buddhists and think back on his teachings.

Vesak Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2022Sun15 MayVesak DayPublic
2023Fri05 MayVesak DayPublic
2024Wed22 MayVesak DayPublic
2025Mon12 MayVesak DayPublic

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

Related Posts