Statue of Buddha in a temple in Seoul, South Korea
How long until Buddha's Birthday?
|This holiday is today!|
What date is Buddhas Birthday?
|Lantern parades are held for Buddhas Birthday which is celebrated in late April or early May|
Who observes Buddha's Birthday on this day?
Buddha's Birthday is celebrated in late April or early May.
In Korea, the date of the birthday of Buddha is determined by the Lunisolar calendar. In South Korea, this holiday is also known as 'Seokga tansinil'.
Buddha's birthday is a public holiday in South Korea, even though less than 20 per cent of South Koreans identify as Buddhists.
The holiday is marked with lantern festivals and temples open their doors offering visitors free tea and a meal of rice and vegetables called bibimbab.
In Seoul, there is an evening parade from Tapgol Park to Jogyesa on the Sunday prior to the actual holiday.
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.
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