When is The Buddhas Birthday?
The Buddha's Birthday was only made a holiday in 1998 following the Handover of Hong Kong from the UK to China in 1997.
While there are many Buddhist temples in Hong Kong who will hold special ceremonies on this day, probably the best place to visit is the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau, which houses the world's largest seated, outdoor bronze Buddha.
Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism, was born in India 3,000 years ago. There are various opinions concerning the exact dates of his birth and death, but according to Buddhist tradition, he is said to have been born April 8, 1029 BC and died on February 15, 949 BC, although other Buddhist scholars place his birth five hundred years later.
The Buddha's birthday is observed annually on the Sunday nearest to the full moon in May. It is a holiday observed by Buddhists acroos the world, though the exact date may differ from country to country.
Shakyamuni Buddha was the son of the king of the Shakyas, a small tribe whose kingdom was located at the foothills of the Himalayas, south of what is now central Nepal, fifteen miles from Kapilavastu. Shakya of Shakyamuni is taken from the name of this tribe and muni means sage or saint. His family name was Gautama (Best Cow) and his given name was Siddhartha (Goal Achieved) though some scholars say this is a title bestowed on him by later Buddhists in honour of the enlightenment he attained.
Even though many Buddhists observe Buddha's historical birth on April 8, the exact date remains in question. Although modern archeological and historical research confirms that Prince Siddartha Gotama lived around this time.