Celebrating the life of Buddha

Thousands of Buddhist and Hindu devotees flocked to the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, to observe the traditional birthday of Buddha, also known as Buddha Jayanti or Vesak Day, yesterday.

Vesak Day celebrates three important events in the life of Buddha, who was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama about 2,500 years ago - his birth, enlightenment and death.

According to Buddhist scriptures, all three happened on the full moon of the Buddhist and Hindu lunar month, Vesakha, which usually falls in April or May in the Western calendar.

Not only does the date of Vesak Day change year after year, but it can also be different among cultures depending on the calendar they subscribe to.

Singapore will mark Vesak Day on May 29 this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2018, with the headline 'Celebrating the life of Buddha'. Print Edition | Subscribe