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Tue 04 May 2004
Vesak in KL today
Category : news
In KL for a database conference, I was surprised that it was Vesak Day today in Malaysia.
||Joann Tan wrote in Straits Times [pdf] that "Today's Vesak Day - for some devotees". She explains that Theravada Buddhists, like those in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar celebrate Vesak Day today.
'The Mahayana Buddhists on the other hand, like many in China, Korea, and Japan, will remember the birth, enlightenment and final nirvana of the Buddha next month.
This year's different dates arose from the different calendars used: Theravada Buddhists use the 12-month solar calendar, whereas Mahayana Buddhists use the lunar calendar.'
'So, in Sri Lanka, for example, Vesak Day falls on the full moon day of the fifth month - May. But in, say, China, it falls on the full moon day of the fourth month of the Chinese calendar. Normally, both dates coincide.
But on 'extremely rare occasions', said Mr Pua Yeow Khoong, director of public relations at the Singapore Buddhist Federation, the dates will differ as they did this year.''
Don't forget to notice the full moon tonight!