Wesak Day around the world in 2021

Wesak Day around the world in 2021
Golden Buddha at Dambulla,Sri Lanka

  Dates of Wesak Day around the world
2022 Various May 16, May 17
IndonesiaMon, May 16National Holiday
MalaysiaMon, May 16National Holiday
Sri Lanka May 16, May 17
Sri LankaTue, May 17National Holiday
Sri LankaMon, May 16National Holiday
2021 Various May 26
IndonesiaWed, May 26National Holiday
MalaysiaWed, May 26National Holiday
Sri LankaWed, May 26National Holiday
2020 Various May 7, May 8
IndonesiaThu, May 7National Holiday
MalaysiaThu, May 7National Holiday
Sri Lanka May 7, May 8
Sri LankaFri, May 8National Holiday
Sri LankaThu, May 7National Holiday
2019 Various May 18, May 19, May 20
IndonesiaSun, May 19National Holiday
Malaysia May 19, May 20
SarawakMon, May 20Regional Holiday (in lieu)
MalaysiaSun, May 19National Holiday
Sri Lanka May 18, May 19, May 20
Sri LankaMon, May 20National Holiday (additional day)
Sri LankaSun, May 19National Holiday (additional day)
Sri LankaSat, May 18National Holiday
2018 Various Apr 29, Apr 30, May 29
IndonesiaTue, May 29National Holiday
MalaysiaTue, May 29National Holiday
Sri Lanka Apr 29, Apr 30
Sri LankaMon, Apr 30National Holiday
Sri LankaSun, Apr 29National Holiday
Marks three key events in Buddhas life - his birthday, the enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana
  Which countries observe Wesak Day in 2021?
  IndonesiaMay 26National Holiday
  MalaysiaMay 26National Holiday
  Sri LankaMay 26National Holiday
Related holidays

When is Wesak Day?

Wesak Day is a Holy Day for Buddhists. In fact, it is considered the holiest day in the Buddhist Calendar.

The Buddha's birthday is observed annually on the Sunday nearest to the full moon in May. It is a holiday observed by Buddhists across the world, though the exact date may differ from country to country.

In Malaysia, Wesak Day is also considered one of the country's major festivals. Buddhism is the second-largest religion after Islam.

In Indonesia, the holiday is known as Waisak Day.

History of Wesak Day

Besides being the time of the year when Buddhist temples sport a beautiful display of lights, it is also the time when Buddhists spend the whole sacred day at temples meditating, chanting prayers and offering alms to Buddhist monks.

An example of the celebrations at a temple during Wesak Day is the Vihara Temple at Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. The celebrations start at sunrise when devotees gather at the temples to meditate. In the evening, a candlelight procession from the temple to Kuala Lumpur city takes place. Many thousands of Buddhists and spectators line the route of the procession, which is led by a decorated float with a statue of the Buddha in it.

After the procession returns to the temple, a special open-air blessing service is performed and a sermon on the significance of Wesak Day is held. Traditionally the rest of the night is spent with devoted meditating, chanting and offering prayers to Lord Buddha by monks in saffron robes.

To summarise, Wesak is important because it marks three key events in Lord Gautama Buddha's life - his birthday, the enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana.

Even though followers of Buddhism have been celebrating Buddhist festivals for centuries, the decision to celebrate Wesak as Buddha's birthday was only taken at the first conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Sri Lanka in 1950. 

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