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article imageBuddha Purnima celebrated around the world

By Sravanth Verma     May 19, 2014 in World
Buddha Purnima, one of Buddhism's most sacred festivals, which marks the birth, enlightenment and the departure of Buddha from this world, was celebrated last week in several countries.
India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka celebrated the day on May 14. Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia celebrated it on May 13, and Indonesia marked the day on May 15. China, Japan and Korea celebrated the day in early April.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, vice-president M Hamid Ansari and outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a message to Indians on Buddha Purnima. President Mukherjee said that the life and teachings of Lord Buddha have universal significance, and the ideals of non-violence, peace, compassion and service to humanity embodied in Buddha's teachings have profoundly impacted human history and the course of civilization.
Prime Minister in-waiting Narendra Modi, who led his Bharatiya Janata Party to a majority in the recently concluded Indian parliamentary elections tweeted, "We pledge our commitment to world peace, non-violence & service to humankind, ideals that were very close to Lord Buddha." This was followed by another tweet, "On Buddha Purnima, we bow to the venerable Lord Buddha,whose teachings have guided the entire humanity for centuries pic.twitter.com/wVGZB0iFi8"
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke of the day as "the most meritorious festival of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and the world over." Sri Lankans are celebrating "this festival with the joyous feeling of the pervading presence of the Buddha," he said.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged countries to "work together for the common good." He emphasized the timeless nature and relevance of Buddha's message of peace, compassion and love for all living beings. He hoped Buddha would inspire the international community "to address many of the broader challenges confronting our world — in peace and security, in development and in the protection of our environment."
United Nations offices worldwide commemorate Buddha Purnima every year, in keeping with a UN resolution passed in 2000 that recognized the day internationally, 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."
Buddha Purnima is also called Vesak, Vesakha and Wesak in different countries. The dates for Buddha Purnima are calculated based on the lunar calendar and it falls in the months of April or May every year. The word "Purnima" is Sanskrit for full moon. Full moon days are commonly commemorated through festivals in the Hindu and Buddhist way of life. For example, Guru Purnima, celebrated in June or July commemorates the role of a Guru in the life of a spiritual seeker.
More about Buddha, Festival, Buddhism, Hinduism