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    10 Images of Buddha's Birthday Celebrations Around the World
    Across the world, thousands of lanterns are being lit, city streets are being cleared, and stages are being set for the celebration of Buddha’s birthday. The festivities in honor of the Prince Siddhartha Guatama’s birth, also known as Vesak, occur on the full moon of various lunisolar calendars, meaning that the exact date of each holiday will vary depending on what calendar is used. 

    Tomorrow, May 14th, South Korea will begin its festivities, followed by Thailand, China, and Nepal on May 20th, then India, Singapore, and Sri Lanka on the 21st. Whatever day Vesak falls on, it’s a time to honor Buddha’s birth and enlightenment, and the celebrations are absolutely beautiful. Click through the slideshow to see amazing photos of the largest birthday party on earth. 

    Photo by GohRo/Flickr
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    1. Brisbane, Australia
    In Brisbane, the Buddha Birth Day Festival is a weeklong celebration packed with good eats, activities, and dance and music performances. The event draws thousands of visitors each year. 

    Photo by MRansomH/Flickr
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    2. Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Vesak is a public holiday in Sri Lanka, and residents all over the country decorate their homes and streets with candles, lanterns, and oil lamps. 

    Photo by Dennis Candy/Flickr
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    3. Central Java, Indonesia
    In Indonesia, many people release lanterns into the sky in celebration. Thousands of Indonesians then join Buddhist monks in a prayer walk around Borobudur temple—the largest Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Photo by Hermitianta Prasetya Putra/Wikimedia
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    4. Bangkok, Thailand
    In Thailand, people gather at temples, share food with one another, and light incense to honor Buddha. 

    Photo by Thibaud Saintin/Flickr
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    5. Seoul, South Korea
    South Korea holds some of the world’s largest celebrations in honor of Buddha’s birthday. During the day, a rainbow of paper lanterns lines Seoul’s streets, and at night The Lotus Lantern Festival lights up the sky. 

    Photo by Jeon Han/Wikimedia
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    6. Sri Lanka
    All over Sri Lanka, people sing Bakhti Gee—devotional songs—on the day celebrating Buddha’s birth. 

    Photo by Rayazm/Flickr
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    7. Sydney, Australia
    Sydney’s Darling Harbor is the site of some of the birthday party’s best performances. Dance, music, and art of China, Japan, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, and Australia are featured throughout the festival. 

    Photo by Travis Chau/Flickr
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    8. Manila, the Philippines
    There is a rather small Buddhist population in the Philippines, but Buddha’s birthday—known there as Araw ng Bisyakis—is still a well-celebrated event. Adherents honor Buddha by meditating and eating vegetarian meals on that day.

    Photo by Jon Mannion/Flickr
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    9. Ayutthaya, Thailand
    Vesak is a public holiday in Thailand. As part of the celebration, Buddhists walk around the Wat Yai Chai Mongkol temple three times while holding a candle and making a wish. 

    Photo by Leelaryonkul/Wikimedia
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    10. Seoul, South Korea
    No matter the location (pictured here: Seoul), Vesak is a day to honor the birth, life, and death of Buddha by spreading light and kindness. 

    Photo by Spc. Daniel Love/Wikimedia
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10 Images of Buddha's Birthday Celebrations Around the World

Vesak: A holiday for Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death.