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Day of Vesak
13 May 2014

"Now more than ever, we need the spirit of non-violence to help inspire peace and quell conflict... I offer my best wishes to believers celebrating Vesak Day, and my sincerest hopes that we may all draw on spiritual ideals to strengthen our resolve to improve 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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