Happy Vesak 2014!
Vesākha (Pali;Sanskrit: Vaiśākha, Devanagari: वैशाख), Wesak or Vesak, also known as Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day, is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists on different days in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and the South East Asian countries of Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia, and other places all over the world. Sometimes informally called “Buddha’s Birthday”, it actually commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition.
The exact date of Vesak is based on the the Asian lunisolar calendars and is primarily celebrated in Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar and the Hindu calendar, and hence the name Vesak. In India and Nepal, which is considered the birth-country of Buddha, it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Hindu calendar, and is traditionally called Buddha Purnima, Purnima meaning the full moon day in Sanskrit. In Theravada countries following the Buddhist calendar, it falls on a full moon Uposatha day, typically in the 5th or 6th lunar month. In China and Korea, it is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but usually falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June.
The name of the observance is derived from the Pali term vesākha or Sanskrit vaiśākha, which is the name of the lunar month in the Hindu calendar falling in April–May (see Vaisakha). In Mahayana Buddhist traditions, the holiday is known by its Sanskrit name (Vaiśākha) and derived variants of it. Local renditions of the name vary by language, including:
Nepali: Buddha Purnima (बुद्ध पुर्णिमा), Budhha Jayanti (बुद्ध जयन्ति)
Hindi: Vaisakh Purnima ( वैसाख पुर्णिमा), Budhha Jayanti (बुद्ध जयन्ति)
Bengali: Buddho Purnima (বুদ্ধ পূর্ণিমা), Buddho Joyonti (বুদ্ধ জয়ন্তী) or Bhesak (ভেসাক)
Sinhala: Vesak (වෙසක්) Full Moon Poya Day
Burmese: Kason Full Moon Day
Chinese: Fó Dàn (佛誕), Yù Fó Jié (浴佛節), Wèi Sāi Jié (衛塞節) or Fāt Dàahn
Filipino: Araw Ni Buddha
Indonesian: Hari Raya Waisak
Japanese: Hanamatsuri (花祭)
Khmer: Visak Puja (or Visak Bochea) (វិសាខបូជា)
Korean: Seokka Tanshin-il (석가 탄신일, 釋迦誕身日)
Laotian: Vixakha Bouxa (ວິສາຂບູຊາ)
Malaysian: Hari Wesak
Tibetan: Saga Dawa (*ས་ག་ཟླ་བ། )
Thai: Wisakha Bucha (วิสาขบูชา)
Vietnamese: Phật Đản