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Day of Vesak
13 May 2014

"The Buddha's message of peace, compassion and love for all living beings tells us to open our hearts and embrace all members of our human family, especially those in need. These timeless teachings can help guide governments and the international community. They can inspire our efforts to address many of the broader challenges confronting our world."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Buddha's birthplace

Lumbini, a World Heritage site, is the birthplace of Buddha. Photo Credit: UNESCO/Nipuna Shrestha

"Vesak", the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 B.C., that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away.

The General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized internationally the Day of Vesak to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices, in consultation with the relevant UN offices and with permanent missions, which also wish to be consulted.

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