Vesak: Buddhism's Holiest Day

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Vesak is the holiest day in Buddhism. On this day are celebrated the birth, the Enlightenment, and the death of the Buddha. This day is usually in the middle or last two weeks of May.

Buddhists the world over rejoice and ponder this day, which is itself a symbol of rejoicing and pondering. Celebrations can be large affairs, filled with (vegetarian) food, animals, and festivals, or small remembrances, filled with meditation. Silent marches or meditations in the evening end the daylong celebration.

This holiday goes by other names as well, among them Buddha Purinama, Wesak, and Visakha Puja. The name may be different, but the reason for celebrating is the same.

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