Shepparton Vesak Observance 2022

Idol of BuddhaTo Buddhists, around the world, the most important day of the year is Vesak (Wesak) — a day set aside to honor not only the birth (circa 563 B.C.), but also the enlightenment (528 B.C.), and the Parinarvana of Guatama Buddha (483 BC). Vesak falls on the full moon called the “Flower Moon” — this year the Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley will celebrate Vesak in Queens Gardens on Saturday, 28 May at 4pm. ALL are welcome to participate.


Although it may be celebrated at different times — due to the lunar calendar and cultural aspects — this year most Buddhists celebrate Vesak on May 16, 2022 this year if they celebrate by Lunar calendar (Lunar April full moon). Internationally, though, the full moon in May was established in 1950 by the World Fellowship of Buddhists. In 1999, the United Nations acknowledged Vesak internationally. This is from the UN website:

“Vesak”, the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 B.C., that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away.

The General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognised internationally the Day of Vesak 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. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices, in consultation with the relevant UN offices and with permanent missions, which also wish to be consulted.

 

Buddha statue against a full moon
Buddha statue against a full moon. Lunar calendar is very important in Buddhism, with most major events celebrated according to the lunar calendar.

The message from the former Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, to Buddhists on the Day of Vesak in May 1986 reads:

“For Buddhists everywhere it is indeed a felicitous opportunity, while commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Guatama Buddha, to celebrate his message of compassion and devotion to the service of humanity. This message is today perhaps more relevant than ever before.”

Peace, understanding and a vision of humanity that supersedes national and other international differences are essential if we are to cope with the complexities of the nuclear age.

This philosophy lies at the heart of the Charter of the United Nations and should be prominent in all our thinking, especially during this International Year of Peace”–Javier Perez de Cuellar.

Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley:
For the seventh year, we are celebrating our Vesak Festival in Shepparton on Saturday 28th of May 2022 from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm at the Queen’s Gardens and we would like to invite you to come and celebrate with us.

 

Vesak 2022 in Queens Park Shepparton

 


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Image Credit: Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley

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