UN Day of Vesak Date in the current year: May 21, 2016

UN Day of Vesak Vesak is an important Buddhist holiday that celebrates the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha. In 1999, the General Assembly officially declared the Day of Vesak as a United Nations international day.

The date of Vesak is determined according to Asian lunisolar calendars, it typically falls on the full moon in the month of May, although sometimes Vesak occurs in April or June. Millions of Buddhists around the world believe that on this day the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment (nirvana) and passed away.

UN Day of Vesak was declared to celebrate Gautama Buddha's message of compassion, peace and goodwill and to commemorate his devotion to the service of humanity. The United Nations encourages people – Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike – to spend the day reflecting on the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha.

Buddhism is one of the world's oldest religions, it is professed by millions of people in various countries. United Nations Vesak Day focuses on acknowledging the contribution that Buddhism has made and continues to make to the spirituality of the entire humanity. Events and activities dedicated to Vesak Day are held at the UN headquarters in New York City and other UN offices throughout the world.

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